Your Baby's Movement
Feeling your baby move is one of the best feelings in pregnancy but did you know it’s also an important sign of the baby’s wellbeing?
Kicks Count is a UK charity that is raising awareness of the importance of baby’s movements in pregnancy.
In 2016 Kicks Count, Department of Health, NHS, Bounty, Tommys, Sands and many other pregnancy organisations got together to ensure baby movement information was consistent. All organisations would give the same advice so parents to be could have confidence in the advice they were given.
However, with the meteoric rise of social media and influencers, more misinformation is now being spread and parents aren’t always getting their information from reliable sources. This is why it is more important than ever to ensure this information is widespread so influencers and companies can help more parents have a healthy, safe pregnancy.
We have therefore asked Kicks Count for the correct information on baby’s movements.
When should I start to feel movement?
Most women usually begin to feel their baby move between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.
How often should my baby move?
There is no 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.
What shall I do if I notice reduced movement?
If you think your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped, contact your midwife or maternity unit immediately (it is staffed 24 hours, 7 days a week). Do not put off calling until the next day to see what happens.
Do not worry about phoning, it is important for your doctors and midwives to know if your baby’s movements have 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, this does not 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 movements, 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.
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. Half of the women who had a stillbirth noticed their baby’s movements had slowed down or stopped.
Is there anything I can use to help me keep track of my baby’s movements?
The most important thing is you are aware of them, but if you would like help to keep track Kicks Count do wristbands and a mobile App. The award winning Kicks Count wristband is a silicone band with a plastic slider that can be moved along each time the mum feels a session of movement. This can help her get to know what is normal for her baby. You can use the code BABYSHOW for 20% off wristbands on the website.
There is also a free Kicks Count App that allows users to keep track of their baby’s movements on their smart phone. It is currently the only fetal movement monitoring app that doesn’t stop at 10 kicks, and instead allows users to identify their baby’s individual pattern. It also allows users to contact their midwife direct from the app if they have any concerns about their baby’s wellbeing. The app is approved by the NHS and is featured on the NHS digital library. To download the app for free search KICKSCOUNT in the App Store or Play Store.
Some mums may be tempted to purchase devices that claim to listen to their baby’s heartbeat. Kicks Count, along with other professional bodies strongly advise against their use.
Why Shouldn’t I use a home doppler?
The best indicator of fetal wellbeing is always baby’s movements, not the presence of a heartbeat.
If you saw a person collapsed in the street would you check their pulse and walk away? No, you’d probably call an ambulance because this person is clearly unwell, even though they have a heartbeat. It is the same with a baby. If a baby’s movements change, it can be a sign that they are unwell. Just because they have a heartbeat does not mean anything. Everyone has a heartbeat up until the second before they pass away. All a heartbeat tells you is the baby is currently alive, which is the only time something can be done to help a baby in distress. If you wait until you can’t find a heartbeat it’s too late.
Kicks Count would like to empower more mums to be to trust their instincts and get to know their baby’s regular pattern of movement.
For more information visit Kickscount.org.uk