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Baby Movements In Pregnancy

You’ll start to feel your baby move anywhere from 14-20 weeks and you can expect to feel them move every single day (you may feel your baby later on if you have an anterior placenta). By 24-28 weeks most babies have established a predictable pattern of kicks and flips, rolls and stretches and a distinct sleep/wake cycle. It’s really beneficial to tune into your baby’s movements and take note of their frequency and strength. You can expect your care provider to ask about them at your appointments, too. There’s no set number of normal movements but when the patterns in movement change, it may be a sign that something’s not quite right. A well-baby will move regularly whereas a compromised baby may slow or change their movements to conserve energy.’

It’s time to dispel two common myths about the way your baby moves:

  • Your baby’s movements slow down in the third trimester – FALSE. By 24-28 weeks your baby will establish a predictable pattern of kicks and rolls, stretches and flips and a sleep/wake cycle. There’s no set number of times your baby should be moving but getting to know their pattern of movement is important. This pattern will continue throughout the third trimester and well into labour. A change in this pattern may be a sign that something’s not right.
  • Eat or drink cold foods to stimulate your baby – FALSE. This is not an accurate indication of your baby’s wellbeing.

If you notice a change in your baby’s movements, regardless of how many weeks you are, don’t hesitate to contact your care provider. You are not an inconvenience; regardless of the time of day or night, your care provider wants to hear from you and in most cases, they will want to see you face to face for a thorough review. They will encourage you to present to the birthing unit where a few routine investigations may be performed, including monitoring your baby’s heartbeat, measurement of your baby’s growth, ultrasound to check the level of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby and blood test to look for signs of infection. If you present to the hospital twice with reduced movements this is considered a red flag and your care provider may start chatting about a new plan to keep you both safe.

Being aware of your baby’s movements is a beautiful way to bond but it’s also how your baby communicates with you. Tune in and connect; your baby’s movements matter.

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