Checking your baby's movement

Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well

Most women begin to feel their baby move between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. A baby's movements can be described as anything from a kick or flutter to a swish or roll. The type of movement may change as your pregnancy progresses.

How often should my baby move?

There is not set number of normal movements. Your baby will have their own pattern of movements that you should get to know.

From 16-24 weeks on, you should feel the baby move more and more up until 32 weeks, then stay roughly the same until you give birth.

It is 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 while you are in labour too.

Get to know your baby's normal pattern of movements

You MUST NOT WAIT until the next day to seek advice if you are worried about your baby's movements.

If you think your baby's movements have slowed down or stopped, contact your Midwife or Maternity Unit immediately - it is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Do not put off calling until the next day to see what happens.

Don't worry about calling; it is important for your Doctors and Midwives to know if your baby's movements have slowed down or stopped.

baby in womb

Why are my baby's movements important?

A reduction in a baby's movements can sometimes be an important warning sign that a baby is unwell. Around half of women who had a stillbirth noticed their baby's movements had slowed down or stopped.

Do not use any hand-held monitors, dopplers or phone apps to check your baby's heartbeat. Even if you detect a heartbeat, that does not necessarily mean your baby is well.

What if my baby's movements are reduced again?

If, after your check-up, you are still not happy with your baby's movement, you must contact either your Midwife or Maternity Unit straight away, even if everything was normal last time.

NEVER HESITATE to contact your Midwife or the Maternity Unit for advice, no matter how many times this happens.

You might find this short video by Midwife Caroline Macrae useful but if you still have questions, please call the number below for help and advice. This video is also available is a wide range of languages in the same YouTube playlist.

Contact details: Maternity Triage - 01895 279441/279054

pregnant woman silhouette

Maternity Triage
01895 279054
Community Midwives' Office
01895 279472