Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well. Your Maternity Unit is still open during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you have any concerns about your baby's movements, contact them immediately.

When should I start to feel movement?

All pregnancies are unique and when women feel movement for the first time varies.

Most women usually start to feel their baby move between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. You may feel your baby move as early as 16 weeks of pregnancy, especially if you've been pregnant before. If this is your first pregnancy, you may not notice your baby’s movements until you are more than 20 weeks pregnant. 

What does baby movement feel like?

A baby’s movements can be anything from a kick, flutter, punch, swish or roll. The type of movement may change as your pregnancy progresses. Baby movement is often referred to as "baby kicks".

How often should my baby move?

All babies are different! There is no set number of normal movements.

From 16 – 24 weeks on you should feel your baby move more and more until 32 weeks. After 32 weeks, movements should stay roughly the same until you give birth.

It's important to get to know your baby's regular pattern of movement. Our Kicks Count Wristbands can help you do this.

What should I do if I notice reduced movement?

If you think your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped, contact your maternity unit immediately. Midwives and doctors are there to help you - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Don't put off calling until the next day or wait until your next scheduled appointment.

  • Don't worry about phoning, it's important for your doctors and midwives to know if your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped. They'll be happy to hear from you.

What can I expect when I report reduced movement?

The care you'll receive depends on how many weeks pregnant you are.

Here you can read more about what to expect when you report reduced baby movements.

What if my baby’s movements are reduced again?

You should contact your maternity unit again, however many times it happens. Even if everything was normal last time, don't hesitate to contact your midwife or maternity unit for advice. You're always doing the right thing.

Why are my baby’s movements important?

Your baby's movements are a sign of their wellbeing. A reduction or change in your baby’s movements can sometimes be a warning sign that they're unwell. It's important to know that:

  • It's NOT true that babies move less towards the end of pregnancy

  • You should continue to feel your baby move right up to the time you go into labour and whilst you are in labour too.

If my baby's movements change does it mean my baby is definitely unwell?

Not at all. Checks by medical professionals usually find that everything is OK. Most women who report one or less episodes of reduced movement go on to have a healthy baby and straightforward pregnancy.

However, it's important to be checked to make sure the change isn't because your baby is one of the few that are unwell. Reporting concerns about your baby's movements could save their life.

Should I prompt my baby to move?

As it can cause a delay in getting medical advice, trying to make your baby move isn't recommended. If your baby's movements are concerning you, always call your maternity unit.

Should I use a phone app or home doppler to check the baby's heartbeat?

Please don't use any device to check your baby's heartbeat, especially if you're concerned about their wellbeing. Even if you think you're listening to their heartbeat, it's possible you're actually listening to your own. The presence of a heartbeat alone does not mean your baby is well too- you both need to be checked by a healthcare professional if you're worried.

Find out more about why you should Ditch the Doppler


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