Fetal movements

Your baby’s movements are an important way of monitoring their wellbeing.  If you are concerned regarding your baby’s movements or:

  • Your baby is moving less than usual
  • You cannot feel your baby moving any more
  • There is a change to your baby’s usual pattern of movements

Then please call maternity triage: on 01737 231 764

Do not delay in seeking medical advice or wait for your next community midwife appointment.

Please do not use a Home Doppler to check your baby’s heartbeat. This is not a reliable method and if you do hear a heartbeat, it may not mean your baby is well.

Your baby’s movements

Your baby’s movements are individual to your baby. You may start to feel your baby between 16 – 24 weeks of pregnancy. If this is your first pregnancy, you might not feel movements until after 20 weeks.

Your baby should start to have a recognisable pattern at 28 weeks. There is no set number of movements you should feel a day, rather a pattern that is normal for your baby.

You should feel your baby’s movements throughout the pregnancy and during the birth. It is a myth that baby’s slow down towards the end of pregnancy because they “run out of room”. However, you may find that how you feel the movements may alter.

When you first start to feel your baby move, you may feel gentle swirling or fluttering. As your pregnancy progress, you may feel kicks and more jerky movements.

If other people wanted to feel your baby move, you can place their hand on your abdomen. However, they may have to wait a while longer as they may not feel the movements in early pregnancy like you can.