Your baby's movements

By Louise, The Honest Midwife

After the first few months of pregnancy, that first kick from your baby is a wonderful reminder of the life growing inside. It is an exciting moment for partners, too, to actually be able to feel their baby girl or boy. The timing of the first kick varies in each pregnancy and, if this is your first pregnancy, you may not feel your baby until after 20 weeks. If you haven’t felt movements by 24 weeks, you should contact your maternity unit who will check baby’s heartbeat.

“Is that butterflies in my tummy?” The first few tell-tale signs that your baby is having a wriggle inside may just be slight feelings of fluttering and you may be left wondering, “Was it?’, “Wasn’t it?. It won’t be long before you will have no doubt that a tiny person is doing a Highland Jig inside you as you start to feel firmer kicks.

A healthy baby will move around as they strengthen their muscles in readiness for life on the outside and, although there will be periods of rest, you will soon get used to how your baby moves. It is not necessary for you to count how often you feel your baby but if you notice changes to the activity, you must contact your midwife for a check-up.

If you have had a busy day and are just a little unsure, it is fine to have a short lie down, on your left hand side, and spend some time focusing on your baby. You could try having a cold drink and a snack but if you still do not feel movements or are not reassured, give your midwife a call.

It is really important that you do not give into the temptation to purchase a home dollar (the machine used to listen to baby’s heartbeat). It takes considerable training and practice to use these machines and there is a real risk of being given false reassurance. When in doubt, speak to your midwife or doctor.

It is a myth that babies movements reduce towards the end of pregnancy. Although they may be a little cramped, you should still be able to feel them wiggling around in there and it remains just as important to be aware of your baby’s movements until they are in your arms having their first cuddles.

If you are seen and reassured that all is well but you continue to be worried, make another appointment. Never feel you are a nuisance or are being silly. No matter how many times it happens, never hesitate to seek reassurance.