Fetal Movements Matter (Video)

Feeling your baby move for the first time is one of the most exciting parts of being pregnant. It’s not uncommon to start feeling your baby move from as early as 16 weeks. However, the majority of women will only feel movement from the 18 week mark. If this is your first pregnancy, you will probably only notice movement from about week 20.

Fetal movements are important because they tell you your baby is well. Major changes in or a lessening of fetal movements is a sign that something could be wrong.

Fetal Movements

When will I start feeling my baby move?

If you had to look at your ultrasounds, you should see your baby start moving after about 10 weeks. However, this doesn’t mean you will feel it. These early movements are usually jerky. Once the baby grows strong enough to place pressure on your uterine walls you feel more. The first signs of movement will stimulate the nerves in the skin of your belly. Once baby is bigger, you will feel the movement in your pelvic area. Your bladder, ribs and back will also experience the effects of this movement.

What does fetal movement feel like?

During the early stages, fetal movements feel like light flutters as your baby kicks and rolls around. As your baby grows, the movements will start to feel more like kicks.

Are there things I can do to get my baby to move?

There are a few simple ways that you might get your baby to move. Some women eat a snack or drink something sweet, like tea, to get their baby to move. Others say that talking or listening to music tends to help – just not too loud. There’s also the option of changing your position while you’re sitting or lying down – sometimes babies like to play along.

How often should I feel my baby move?

This is difficult to answer because every baby is different. After week 18, you should feel your baby start moving more often. From week 28 onwards, you should feel your baby move almost daily. You should feel your baby move often right up until the time you give birth. It’s recommended that after week 28, you keep track of fetal movement patterns. This will give you a good idea of what’s normal or not. If something doesn’t feel right or baby starts to Ove less, call you obstetrician as soon as possible.

What can prevent me from being able to feel my baby move?

If you’re having a busy day or you’re active, you might feel your baby’s movements a little less. If your placenta is at the front of your uterus, this can also make it more difficult to feel movement. If your baby’s back is against yours, you will also feel movement ore easily. It’s important not to make presumptions about why you can’t feel your baby moving as much. If you think fetal movement has slowed or changed, get checked right away.

What happens if fetal movements change?

If you’re less than 24 weeks pregnant, you only need to see your obstetrician if you haven’t felt any movement by week 24. An ultrasound will be able to determine whether the baby’s health might be at risk. Women who are 24 – 28 weeks pregnant should get in touch with a medical professional right away if fetal movement has slowed or stopped. A full antenatal check-up will be required to test for abnormalities and problems. If you’re over 28 weeks pregnant, you should also get help right away. Another full check will be required to check your baby’s wellbeing.

5 female specialist obstetricians, O&GCG Melbourne, Dr Jean Wong, Dr Leah Xu, Dr Natalia Khomko, Dr Perri Dyson and Dr Robin Thurman

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