Most women are aware of their baby’s movements by 20 weeks of pregnancy, although some women may feel movements from as early as 16 weeks and for some it will be a little later. If you are pregnant with twins, you can usually distinguish between each baby’s movements by 28 weeks.
Baby movements can be defined as any kick, flutter, swish or roll. Often the first movements can be really exciting for you and your family.
Your baby’s movements are the best way to determine his or her wellbeing.
All pregnancies are different and therefore we do not advise on a ‘right number’ of baby movements to feel each day. It is important that you become familiar with what is a normal pattern for your baby so you notice if this normal pattern changes.
A reduction in your baby’s movements might be the first sign that your baby is potentially unwell and we advise that you call maternity triage immediately to speak to a midwife and make a plan together. If you are concerned about reduced baby movement you should not wait until the next day or your next midwife appointment before you seek help and advice.
We strongly warn against the use of a home Doppler to listen to your baby’s heartbeat for reassurance. It can be difficult to interpret the heartbeat you are hearing – you may not be listening to the baby’s heartbeat at all and assuming that you are the presence of a heartbeat does not necessarily mean that your baby is well. If you have any concerns about your baby, please call maternity triage – the number is staffed by a midwife 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – we are here to help!
RCOG: Your baby’s movements in pregnancy
BSUH: My baby’s movements in pregnancy