One of the greatest joys in pregnancy is feeling your baby kicking and moving inside of you, these are called foetal movements. The presence of regular foetal movement is also enormously reassuring to you and also to your health professionals involved in your care.
When will I first feel the baby kick?
Most commonly you will first notice the baby kick between 18 and 22 weeks gestation. On occasion, particularly if you have had babies before you may notice it a little earlier. The position of the placenta, which has no nerve endings, is the main reason why it might be earlier or later. A placenta at the front of the uterus (anterior) acts like a layer of foam padding and you may not be convinced of feeling your baby till almost 22 weeks. Conversely, if the placenta is at the back of the uterus (posterior) then you may feel flutters as early as 18 weeks approximately.
How often should my baby move?
As the pregnancy progresses into later phases you will usually feel the baby several times each day. Each time the movement number and duration will vary from quite briefly to many movements over 10-30 minutes. A pregnant woman gradually becomes accustomed to what is normal for her baby. It is important to note that a very active baby that seems to move a lot is always a good thing.
When should I be worried about my baby’s movements?
If you become concerned on any given day or night that your baby’s kicks have slowed down significantly, you should contact my practice or the hospital you’re planning to give birth at. A good simple strategy to try first is drink a full glass of iced water and have something to eat. If over the next half hour you don’t feel good movements of your baby you must ring. You will be invited in to the rooms (or the birth suite after hours) to have assessment with a foetal monitor (CTG). Most times we find the baby is well and just having a quiet day, but on occasion it can mean the baby is not happy, and needs further assessment.
Always ring the rooms regarding reduced foetal movements at any time. It is easy to check your baby is just having a quiet day.