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Fetal movement, also called kicking, is a normal part of pregnancy. It is the first sign that the growing baby is actively developing inside the womb, and it usually begins around 16-24 weeks of pregnancy. If this is your first baby, you might not feel movements until after 20 weeks.
If you have not felt you baby move by 24 weeks tell your midwife ASAP, do not wait until your next appointment. They'll check your baby's heartbeat and movements. You should feel your baby move right up to and during labour.
Most women and pregnant people become aware of this movement by around 25 weeks of pregnancy. A baby’s movements can be described as anything from a kick, flutter, swish or roll. The type of movement may change as your pregnancy progresses and your baby grows. While all pregnancies and babies are unique, most will experience increased fetal movement as the pregnancy progresses and as the baby grows. Regular patterns of fetal movement can indicate a healthy baby. If you notice any changes in fetal movements, such as decreased or increased movement, you should consult a healthcare provider.
They’ll need to check your baby’s movements and heartbeat.
Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well. DO NOT WAIT until the next day to seek advice if you are worried about your baby’s movements. It is NOT TRUE that babies move less towards the end of pregnancy or in labour. Do not worry about phoning; it is important you talk to your maternity unit for advice, even if you are uncertain. It is very likely that they will want to see you straight away. There is always a midwife available, even at night.
A reduction in a baby’s movements can be an important warning sign that a baby is unwell. Around half of women who have a stillbirth notice their baby’s movements slow down or stop.
Remember, do not wait until the next day – call immediately, even if it’s the middle of the night.
Maternity services across Sussex use an electronic maternity notes system called BadgerNet, replacing paper notes.
There are several benefits to using ‘BadgerNet’ Maternity Notes rather than paper notes:
Information is given week-by-week throughout your pregnancy, with recommended reading at each stage. You will be notified by the app if there is something new to read that week. Alternatively, you can search the app’s library, which is full of helpful guides and leaflets.
Within the library, you will find an in-depth leaflet about your baby’s movements. Please log in and take a look.
There are many safe and effective medicines to treat hayfever in pregnancy, and other things you can do –
*Safe antihistamines in pregnancy: Cetrizine, Loratadine and Chlorphenamine. Discuss medicines with your healthcare professional.
Issue 8: Your Baby’s Movements
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