What Are Normal Fetal Movements?
🌟 Most wāhine (women) will usually start to feel their baby move when they are between 16 and 22 weeks’ pregnant. Wāhine having their first baby may start feeling movements a little later than women having a subsequent baby. As your baby grows, you will become more aware of the movements. You won’t feel small movements, such as thumb sucking or stretching of fingers and toes but you will feel your baby’s arms and legs moving and other movements such as rolling and even hiccups.
🌟 Usually, an active baby is a healthy baby. Some women may not feel their baby move as much as others, even though their baby is healthy. Every baby is unique and it is important for you to get to know your baby’s movement patterns. You may feel your baby’s movements least while standing, walking or if you are busy with other things.
🌟 To better understand your baby’s wake and sleep cycles, imagine a healthy toddler running around and then having a regular daytime nap. This is normal behaviour for a toddler. But, if that toddler was to lie on the couch for a long time when they did not usually sleep, then it might mean that the toddler is unwell. Similarly, if your baby’s movements change at a time when they are normally active, then there may be cause for concern.
🌟 Is it normal for my baby’s movements to slowdown in the last few weeks before birth?
No, your baby’s movements should not decrease in strength or frequency in the last few weeks before birth. As you get closer to birth (after 36 weeks’ gestation) there is less room for your baby to move. Because of this you may notice the type of movements you feel changes. Women often describe more rolling, squirming and pressing movements that are more forceful. You may also be able to feel movement of particular body parts, such as your baby’s arms and legs.
🌟 What can I do if I am concerned about my baby’s movements?
If you are concerned about how often your baby is moving or the strength of your baby’s movements, contact your midwife/ healthcare professional immediately. Your midwife will need to assess you and your baby’s health.
Posted: Wednesday 14 September 2022