Foetal Movements

When will I be aware of my baby my baby moving?

You will become aware of your baby moving between 16 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. If you have an anterior implanted placenta you will feel movement usually later than if the placenta is in another location.

Foetal movements are often described are butterflies, a flutter or a funny wind feeling in the tummy.

You will usually be aware sooner in your second and subsequent pregnancy compared with your first ongoing pregnancy. This is because you know what to movement feelings are like.

Foetal Movements in Pregnancy

What is normal activity?

It is usual for a pregnant woman to be aware of at least 10 movements in 12 hours after about 26 weeks pregnancy.

An anterior placenta acts like a cushion and will usually mean you are less aware of movements of your baby. If your baby is turned so its back is anterior and it kicks towards your back then you will be less aware of movements of your baby.

There is considerable variation in normal activity. A woman will know this by variations between pregnancies and if she has twins. With twins, often one twin will be consistently more active than the other.

There is a correlation between activity in utero and the personality of your baby. A more active baby in utero often becomes a more active baby after birth and a more placid baby in utero often becomes a more placid baby after birth.

In the latter weeks of pregnancy what were kicks become more rolling foetal movements. This is because the baby has less space in your uterus. There still should be at least 10 distinct rolls in 12 hours.

Sometimes a baby will have hiccups. Hiccups are characterised by a rhythmic set of movements that can recur.

Normal Foetal Movement Activity

What do I do if I am concerned that my baby is unusually quiet?

  • Try having a sugary drink such as an orange juice, lying down, resting and consciously thinking about your baby’s activity.
  • If you are still concerned there is less baby movement, or if you have noticed a marked reduction in your baby’s movements, then please inform the midwife at the Labour Ward of the San or the Birth Unit of Norwest Private Hospital as soon as possible. You will be asked to attend so your baby’s wellbeing can be checked. This is very important. Reduced movement can imply less oxygen is getting to your baby and sometimes there needs to be prompt delivery of your baby even though you are not due.

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