Baby movements during pregnancy

An active baby is a healthy baby. Being aware of your baby’s movements is one of the ways mothers can help to keep their babies safe during pregnancy.

Decreased fetal movements

Women report being able to first feel their babies move between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. The position of the placenta should not affect this.

There is no set number of movements so counting kicks is not encouraged.

Get to know the pattern, type and strength of movements that is unique to your baby. That way, you will be able to tell they’re well. This might feel like a kick, a swish or a roll.

Research tells us that around half of all women who had a stillbirth noticed their baby’s movements had slowed down or stopped in the days before it occurred.

Red Nose recommends understanding your baby’s natural pattern of movement and if you suspect any change, contact your midwife, obstetrician or hospital on the day that you are worried about your baby’s movements. Never wait until the next day.

This is because healthy babies move regularly right up until and during labour and a change in movements could be a sign that your baby may be unwell.

For more information on your baby’s health during pregnancy, visit our advice hub.

Last modified: 1/6/21