When I was pregnant with my daughter in 2012, my midwife couldn’t tell me enough that I needed to keep an eye on her movements. She asked me about it at every single appointment. Looking back now, I realise how great it was that she made me aware of monitoring my baby’s movements. Sadly, even now in 2017, consistency of information for expectant parents is still a challenge. That’s why we were thrilled when Uber Kids asked us to write about Kicks Count and why it’s so important to monitor your baby’s movements. We hope you find this helpful!
Who are Kicks Count?
Did you know that 1 in every 200 births ends in a stillbirth in the UK? Kicks Count was set up in 2010 to help educate and empower mums with information on baby movements. The ultimate aim is to reduce stillbirth in the UK. It also works to ensure that mums have the confidence to speak to a medical professional whenever they have any concerns.
While there isn’t one solution to reducing this, a decrease in fetal movement can be a warning sign that the baby is struggling in the womb. It’s important to emphasise the ‘can be’ as, more often than not, baby is found to be happy, healthy and just keeping mum on her toes! Still, it’s vital that mums report any concerns in good time. It’s genuinely lifesaving as it’s thought that a third of stillborn babies can be saved.
How to monitor your baby’s movements
We often get asked how to monitor baby movements – the answer is that mums need to get to know what is normal for their baby. This is often instinctual, mums get a feel for what their baby’s routine is. We do have things that can help though, such as a free app and Kicks Count wristband.
Most women usually begin to feel their baby move somewhere between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. A baby’s movements can be described as anything from a kick, flutter, swish or roll.
It’s good to remember that there’s no set number of normal movements that applies to everyone. You may hear about ‘counting to 10’ but this is outdated advice. From 16-24 weeks, expectant mums should feel their baby move more and more up until 32 weeks. After 32 weeks they then stay roughly the same until your baby arrives. The type of movement may change as the pregnancy progresses, but not the regularity of movement.
What to do if you’re concerned
If you have any worries about your baby’s movements, contact your midwife or maternity unit straight away. Don’t worry about giving them a call – they’re there to help! It’s also important to mention that using a home doppler is not recommended, even if a heartbeat is detected, that alone doesn’t mean that your baby is well.
To find out more about monitoring your baby’s movements, take a look at our website.