Kicks Count is a organisation designed to give women the information they need for a safe and healthy pregnancy. The Kicks Count idea is based on the frequency of baby movements during pregnancy. The aim is to help mothers understand their own babies regular pattern of movement which in turn can help to prevent stillbirth. An at home doppler is not an accurate way to monitor your babies health and, if you feel any reduction in movements or you are worried about your babies movements, you should contact your midwife, labor line or the day assessment unit. Do not wait until the next day to get in touch with your healthcare team. Often, it is nothing to worry about and a case of monitoring or even a scan can reassure you and the midwife that all is well with the baby.
I am under the care of the Hampshire Hospitals Trust which gave me this leaflet after my 20 week scan full of information about the later stages of pregnancy. If you feel like you haven’t felt your baby move in a while or as recommended by your midwife, usually 10 movements in two hours, you can try having an ice cold drink, a high sugar snack and resting on your left side for 30 minutes to focus on your movements. Your midwife will never want you to not call. You are never a burden. Any doubts, worries, no matter how many times you call, do it. Your health care team will always look after your health and the health and safety of your baby.
When Should I Feel My Baby Move?
This will usually happen around 18-22 weeks but for some women it can happen as early as 16 weeks. I am sure, for my second pregnancy I felt movement earlier however there was no pattern. Babies are still very small at this point but if you’re ever worried always call the midwife. If you haven’t felt any movement by 24 weeks call your midwife. You can call your midwife as often as you need to for reasurrence and the safety of you and your baby. Never be afraid to call and never put it off.
What Do Baby Movements Feel Like?
A bit weird to be honest. For those first few quickenings or flutters they feel a bit like gas in your gut. Some women describe these movements as flutters, kicks or a rolling sensation. These will gradually increase to get stronger up to around 30 weeks and over time start feeling more like kicks and actual rolls. In the later stages you can sometimes see these movements or even someone else can feel them if they place your hand on your tummy. When you go for an appointment and the midwife goes to check the heartbeat or you go in for some monitoring for whatever reason, you can sometimes hear the babies movements too. Seeing them at ultrasound is always interesting, especially the earlier scans when you see just how much they move and wiggle around.
Can I encourage my baby to move more?
Sometimes babies will react to your voice or your touch. They might react to ice cold drinks and sugary snacks too. However, if you feel a change in your babies pattern at any point or movements are becoming less, call your midwife. Do not wait.
Do Babies Movements Slow Down?
Your baby should continue to move right the way through your pregnancy, third trimester and even during labour. These movements might change in sensation as baby has less room for somersaults but the amount of movements should pretty much stay the same from around 30 weeks.
My Movements in my Second Pregnancy
I am sure I felt some movement as early as nine weeks however this wasn’t frequent and to be honest you’re never sure if it’s gas. Most women start feeling some movement between 18-20 weeks however this can be later in your first pregnancy. Speak to your midwife if you haven’t felt movement before 24 weeks or if you’re concerned. I felt almost daily movement from around 16 weeks pregnant and this was on and off for about three weeks when movement became daily. I felt less if I was more active and more at night. Now I am well into my second trimester and actually approaching my third, I feel a pattern of movements every day.
I downloaded the Kicks Count app around 22 weeks of pregnancy when I started noticing daily patterns. I am naturally anxious and a worrier and felt having somewhere I could easily record movements to help me learn my babies pattern was really helpful. Some women, however, feel this makes them more anxious. I am not one that will get a home doppler as I think this would make me more anxious and would avoid me going into hospital or speaking to my midwife if I thought I felt a reduction in movements. I would rather they check on the baby and have access to an ultrasound scan should I need it rather than put it off.
I have also been told that I have an anterior placenta, which means it’s on the front of my uterus. This sometimes acts as a bit of a shock pad for babies movements however that does not mean you won’t feel movement. I have felt a lot of movement lower down and as the weeks have gone on I’ve noticed a pattern. Baby F tends to wake up shortly after I do and I have some water in the morning. I feel him giving me a good morning wriggle and stretch. This continous on and off for a couple of hours whilst I work. I think because I’m sat in the quiet, early hours with no distractions I pay more attention to movements.
I do find after walking or Aquafit I have periods of quiet where my constant rocking, swimming and movement must have been far too much for him and off he goes to sleep. This usually picks up by the time I’m home though and again, after having more water. During the afternoon I’m usually busy pottering around, back doing the school run or distracted by life so I don’t tend to pick up on movements until later on. However, during the evening when I’m resting or just as I get into bed he is incredibly lively, wriggling around and preventing me from sleeping. It’s nice to feel those movements though and I feel this pattern is much the same for us. Movements have got stronger as each week has gone past and so far I haven’t noticed any changes in this pattern or a reduction in movements.