Your baby's movements

By Louise, The Honest Midwife

After the first months of pregnancy, that first kick from your baby for many is a wonderful reminder of the life growing inside. It is really exciting for partners, for the first time they may actually be able to feel their baby girl or boy. When the first kick comes 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?” Your first few tell-tale signs that your baby is having a wriggle inside may be just slight feelings of fluttering and you may be left wondering, “Was it?’, “Wasn’t it?. However, before long 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 - just to get checked over.

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 have a cold drink and / or 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 being given false reassurance. If 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 babies movements until they are in your arms having their first cuddles.

Just like us, if we are unwell we are likely to reduce our movements so, at any point you feel any concern regarding your baby it is better to get checked out so that your little one can received the right care if needed.

If you are seen and reassured that all is well but then after you get home you are worried again ring back. Never feel you are a nuisance or are being silly. No matter how many times it happens never hesitate to seek reassurance.