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Fetal Movements

pregnancy bump

Baby movements in the womb, also known as ‘fetal movements’ or ‘kicks’, can feel like anything from a flutter, kick, swish or roll. The type of movement may change as your pregnancy progresses.

There is no set number of normal movements you should be feeling – every baby is different. This is why it’s so important for you to get to know how your baby moves.

From 18-24 weeks on you should feel your baby move more and more. After 32 weeks, the movements you feel will stay roughly the same until you give birth. Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well.  

If your baby moves less or if you notice a change this can sometimes be an important warning sign that a baby is unwell. If you get the right treatment and care as soon as you can this could save your baby’s life.

We know that there is a link between a baby’s movements stopping, altering or slowing down and the risk of stillbirth.

We do not recommend you count your baby’s movements but instead be mindful of your baby’s pattern and routine. You are the best person to monitor whether your baby is moving.

If your baby’s movements change in any way, slow down or stop, you need to seek advice from the maternity service.

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You should never go to bed worried about your baby’s movements, or put off phoning. We need to see you the same day/time that you recognise a change in your baby’s movements. We would rather see you on numerous occasions if it reassures you about your baby’s wellbeing.

Your baby should move throughout your pregnancy and even during labour. Babies do not slow down or ‘run out of room’ towards the end of pregnancy and a healthy, happy baby should continue to have a regular pattern of movements.

As a maternity service, we are here to provide care for you and your unborn baby and you will never be wasting our time by contacting us with any concerns. Just as it is to you, the wellbeing of you and your baby is of utmost importance to us.

If you are the partner, friend or family member of a pregnant woman, please always support her by advising her not to wait, and to seek help if she tells you she has concerns about her baby’s movements.

We would advise you not to use hand-held dopplers/monitors or phone apps to check your baby’s heartbeat. Even if you detect a heartbeat, it does not necessarily mean your baby is well. Please seek support from your midwife or maternity unit.

Please find some additional information here


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