If you are worried about your baby's movements, it's important that you report your concerns to your midwife or maternity unit. Here you can find what to expect when you do this, depending on your stage in pregnancy.

Less than 24 weeks pregnant

Most women first become aware of their baby moving when they are 16-24 weeks pregnant. If by 24 weeks you have never felt your baby move, you should contact your midwife, who will check your baby's heartbeat. An ultrasound scan may be arranged and you may be seen by a specialist to check your baby's wellbeing if a problem is suspected.

Between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant

You should contact your midwife and they should see you the same day if possible. If they can't see you, they may refer you to the hospital maternity unit. Your baby's heartbeat will be checked and you will have a full check up that should include:

  • checking the size of your baby by measuring your bump
  • checking your blood pressure
  • testing your urine for protein

If your baby is smaller than expected, an ultrasound scan may be arranged to check on your baby's growth.

Over 28 weeks pregnant

You must contact your midwife or local maternity unit. You must not wait until the next day to seek help and you should be seen on the same day. If it is out of hours you may be asked to go to the labour ward and wait to be seen.

  1. You will be asked about your baby's movements
  2. You will have an antenatal check-up including checking your baby's heartbeat and measuring the size of your bump.
  3. Your baby's heart rate will be monitored using a CTG, usually for at least 20 minutes.

You should not be discharged until you are happy with baby's movements again.

You may also have an ultrasound scan if:

  • your baby is smaller than expected
  • your pregnancy has others factors that are associated with a higher risk of stillbirth

The ultrasound scan is usually done within 24 hours.

These checks usually show that all is well. Most women who have one episode of reduction in their baby's movements go on to have a healthy baby.

The information above is based on recommendations made by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists about treatment of women who report reduced fetal movements. It was developed by Tommy's and is endorsed by NHS England and supported by Kicks Count. If you are not offered the care detailed above, discuss it with your healthcare professional.