How To Monitor Baby's Foetal Movement For A Happier You
Feeling your baby move inside your tummy is one of the greatest pleasures when pregnant in fact if you are or have been suffering from morning sickness it may be a huge bonus. It is the feeling that will never be forgotten, and it is one thing most new mums will miss when they have their baby however uncomfortable it becomes in the latter months. We all know how vital these movements are and they serve as a good sign of baby’s development and health in the womb. Here are some tips on monitoring your baby’s fetal movement and what to expect from them.
If you are a first-time mum you may not be aware of the first little flutters of movement in your tummy, you may assume you had a big lunch but in time you will realise the early movements of your baby. You may begin to feel your baby as early as 16 weeks and in the subsequent weeks, you will become accustomed to the foetal movements. We advise that you note these first movements in a journal of some sort – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy but a hardback that you can document things for future reference.
There will be countless appointments with your medical team and nurses so having a journal will be great for sharing information. We are so lucky to have ultrasound scans now and these provide beautiful imagery of your tiny tot in your womb and if your baby is awake during the scan you will see their little movements on the screen.
Though you probably won’t feel foetal movements early on, babies tend to begin moving from 7-8 weeks. By 9-10 weeks they can hiccup or suck as well as stretch their body and move their head. Once the 12-week milestone hits your baby will be yawning too and in the coming weeks he/she will be moving their eyes and sucking their thumb – it is incredible! Then by the time 16 weeks have passed, you will be able to enjoy your baby’s movements and they’ll be gentle at first but hang on in there for some massive movements in the coming weeks.
Soon your baby will be twisting, turning, kicking and thumping you and noting these movements are vital so you can be aware if foetal movement decreases at any time in the future. Of course, the decrease in foetal movement doesn’t always mean anything bad as babies will sleep and rest in your womb but you do need to pay attention.
As pregnancy progresses, a baby will rest more, and it could be up to an hour before you feel any foetal movement at all. Remember there is no actual accurate amount of times you should feel movement, but you should use your baby’s usual movements as a guide and though you can’t possibly note all movements, it is good to have a rough estimate. Most babies will have a day to day pattern of sleeping and waking with movements alternating throughout the day which is helpful in recognising a lack of foetal movement. Always contact your doctor or nurse if you are worried about foetal movement and it is better to be cautious if you haven’t felt your baby kick as usual during the day or night. In the meantime, concentrate on your baby’s movements by lying on your left side with support under your bump. Stay still and begin to count movements to help your doctor or nurse understand the foetal movement. Other tips on getting your baby to move are simply by drinking a cold drink as the temperature change can awaken your baby. Listen to loud music and take a rest, if you can as baby may be sleeping while you are moving around. If your baby begins to move around, this is a good sign but still, check in with your midwife or doctor. If your baby doesn’t move around and you are becoming worried go to the hospital straight away. Babies that are moving less may be getting into difficulty and it is better to be safe than sorry.
In most cases, babies are fine, but it is a worrying time so ensure you get medical advice and always monitor your baby’s movements if they are becoming less frequent. Good luck.
Written by Emma Hayes staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.emmamadjotters.com.