We need to talk about baby's movements

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Movement matters

So let’s be alert but not alarmed….

Now, I'm not trying to alarm you, but as you progress along in your pregnancy, you need to be aware of baby's movements. For most first time mums, you will typically feel confident that you can feel baby move from 18-20 weeks, while in following pregnancies, you will pick the movements up sooner, usually from 16-18 weeks or so. Babies tend to settle into patterns of movement and have times when they are quiet and times when they are active.  

Please get used to the pattern of your baby's movements as you move into the last half of your pregnancy (especially from 28 weeks, but even as early as 24 weeks)

  • Are they a morning person or a night owl?

  • Are they a world cup soccer kicker or do they have quiet, gentle, rolling movements?  

Sometime each day, I would like you to take a moment to think about your baby's movements

  • Are they following their usual pattern or has there been a shift?

  • Is baby kicking like crazy or have they gone unusually quiet?  

If you have noticed a change in the pattern of your baby's movements, please bring that to the attention of your midwife or doctor or proceed to the hospital today. Simply put, we will want to monitor your baby for a little while, checking on their heart beat and movement. Most of the time everything is ok, but sometimes this change in movement is the only warning you have that baby is in trouble and we may need to take action to help baby.

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Movements decreasing?

We will want to monitor more closely, perhaps via a CTG (Cardiotocograph)

If you are a smoker, please, please stop. It is really important for your health and for baby’s health.

Oh, and for those of you who sleep on your back, from 28 weeks, try to go to sleep on your side instead as this is safer for baby. If you wake up on your back, don't worry, just roll over onto your side and go back to sleep. Tummy sleepers usually have to change positions anyway for obvious reasons!

There are some terrific resources and lots more information available as a brochure, and on Movements Matter, Still Aware and Tommy's (including information on Tommy's translated into 12 languages, at last count!)