The importance of the movement
Happy healthy babies don’t stop movingFeeling your baby move is a sign that they are well. Monitoring your babies movements is more than just feeling for when it kicks it is about every moment it makes. From a swish to a roll and from a kick to an elbow poke these are all classed as movements. It is important for you to notice patterns in these movements and if you notice your baby is moving less than usual or if you have noticed a change in the pattern of movements, it may be a sign that your baby is unwell and therefore it is essential that you contact your midwife or local maternity unit immediately. The sooner this is found out the better, so you and your baby can be given the right treatment and care. This could save your baby's life.
Most women are first aware of their baby moving when they are 18–20 weeks pregnant. However, if this is your first pregnancy, you may not become aware of movements until you are more than 20 weeks pregnant. If you have been pregnant before, you may feel movements as early as 16 weeks. The movements can feel like a gentle swirling or fluttering. As your pregnancy progresses, you may feel kicks and jerky movements. There's no set number of movements you should feel each day and every baby is different. As your little bundle of joy grows, both the number and type of movements will change with your baby’s activity pattern. The important thing is to get to know your baby's usual movements from day to day, to notice and monitor the pattern.
The number of movements tends to increase until 32 weeks of pregnancy and then stay about the same, although the type of movement may change as you get nearer to your due date. Often, if you are busy, you may not notice all of these movements. Importantly, you should continue to feel your baby move right up to the time you go into labour. Your baby should move during labour, too. Again, the important thing is to get to know your baby's usual movements from day to day, to notice and monitor the pattern and report any change in those patterns- immediately.
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