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Counting Your Baby's Movements: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Counting your baby's movements is one way your doctor can tell that your baby is healthy. Most women—especially in a first pregnancy—feel their baby move for the first time between 16 and 22 weeks. The movement may feel like flutters rather than kicks. Your baby may move more at certain times of the day. When you are active, you may notice less movement than when you are resting. At your prenatal visits, your doctor will ask whether the baby is active.

In your last trimester, your doctor may ask you to count the number of times you feel your baby move.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How do you count fetal movements?

  • Pay attention only to your baby's movements, such as kicks, flutters, or rolls. Count any movement except hiccups. After you have counted 6 movements, write down your stop time. Write down how many minutes it took for your baby to move 6 times.
  • Pick your baby's most active time of day to count. This may be any time from morning to evening.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You noticed that your baby has stopped moving or is moving much less than normal.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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