Fetal Movement

When will my baby start moving?

We can see your baby moving by ultrasound as early as 5-6 weeks gestation. On average you will begin to feel your baby move by around 20 weeks of gestation. We don’t get concerned about you not feeling your baby move only once you have past 24 weeks of gestation, since your ability to feel your baby move is dependent on your baby’s position in your uterus (womb) and if the placenta is cushioning his/her kicks.

What will it feel like when my baby moves?

Early movements are usually described as "flutters," and they can be so subtle that you might mistake them for gas bubbles. Later on they will feel like kicks or pushes.

Does it hurt when my baby moves?

Sometimes when the baby kicks your ribs or bladder it may be uncomfortable. Most movements are not painful. The discomfort should be short lived. If the pain is severe or persists for more than a few minutes you should contact us or present to the hospital.

How often should I be feeling my baby move?

Before 24 weeks you will only feel your baby move erratically and not on a regular basis. After 24 weeks your baby should move on a regular schedule. If you do not feel her move on a regular schedule, drink a glass of cold water and lay on your left side. If she moves 5 times in an hour she is ok, but if she doesn’t, come in immediately so we can evaluate her. Movement is a very reassuring sign. The baby not moving is not a bad sign, but we should check your baby out right away, since we cannot be assured your baby is doing well. If you cannot discern a movement pattern of your baby it may be easier to lie on your side once a day and count for 5 movements. If you don’t get 5 movements come in for us to check out your baby.

1 hour = 5 movements

Why might my baby´s movements decrease?

Most of the time the decrease in movement is normal, but a decrease in the movements of the baby can be a sign that the placenta is not transferring oxygen and nutrients to the baby as efficiently as it should. This could lead to poor growth of your baby or even stillbirth, and that is why we take seriously any decrease in your baby´s movement.

What will happen if my baby is moving less?

If you baby is moving less we will evaluate by NonStress test (fetal heart monitor) or Biophysical Profile (ultrasound of your baby’s well being) to ensure your baby is doing well.

Will my baby move less as I get further in pregnancy or when I am in labor?

Your baby should continue moving throughout pregnancy and labor/delivery. The movements may become more subtle, since your baby is running out of room, but you should still notice consistent movements.