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What if I haven’t felt my baby move for a while?

Help! I haven’t felt my baby kick.

Babies naturally have sleepy and active times in the womb. Normally, pregnant women report the most fetal movement after activities, meals, and in the evening. They also report first feeling fetal movements, also called quickening, when they are around 18-20 weeks pregnant. Since every pregnancy is unique, ifPicture of a pregnant woman holding her belly you can’t feel the baby kicking, it is best to rule out any natural decreased movements before there’s any cause for concern. 

In the third trimester (after 28 weeks), it’s a best practice to start counting fetal movement daily. Do this at roughly the same time every day. Counting kicks can give you a stronger understanding of your baby’s daily fetal activity. This can make it easier to notice changes in fetal movement.

Counting the baby's movements:

  • Get in a comfortable position and wait for the baby’s movement.
  • Note the time of the first movement and count 10 movements of kicks. Look again at the time to determine how long it took your baby to move 10 times.
  • If you feel your baby isn’t moving, get up and walk for 10 minutes and drink a glass of juice. Then try the kick count again. This is one way to get your baby to move.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that you record the time it takes to feel 10 movements (not including hiccups). A healthy baby should have 10 movements in less than two hours. Most babies will take less than 30 minutes.

Call your doctor if:

  • Your baby has less than 10 movements in two hours.
  • Your baby has a dramatic or sudden change of baby movement in the womb.
  • You are unsure.

Do not wait 24 hours if there are no fetal movements, you can’t feel fetal activity, or if there has been a significant change.

Choose Gabrielson Clinic as your maternity center to receive high-quality prenatal care. We can help you figure out why your baby is not moving as much or why you haven’t felt your baby move all day. Please call 515-602-9804 to speak to an on-call OB nurse.

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