A baby’s movement, more aptly called fetal movement, serves more than just to give moms and dads that exciting, giggling feeling every time. A medical practitioner can discern a lot of things just by observing the fetal movement, because it’s a determinant of the baby’s well-being. Knowing that fetal movement is a crucial indicator of the baby’s health, every conceiving woman should know how to monitor baby movement during pregnancy. This task is not something one can assign to someone else, and so moms should learn and do it by heart. Almost half of women who had stillbirth – who gave birth to a lifeless young, noted slowing or stopping of baby movement and they did not seek medical interventions. For a life-saving activity, fetal movement monitoring should be an easy task for moms. There are no special tools required for doing so, and this guide can help you understand more about fetal movement.
Facts About Baby Movements that Mothers Should Know
Before heading straight on how to monitor baby movement during pregnancy, it pays to know a couple of interesting facts about fetal movement monitoring.
- Fetal movements feel like a fluttering, kicking, swishing, or rolling motions. Most women experience baby movements called quickening between 16-24 weeks of pregnancy. Remind yourself not to worry should quickening come a little later as the experience vary from woman to woman. Some even report feeling the movement by the 26th week of pregnancy.
- It’s the first-time moms that usually report quickening later, improving their ability to sense movements on succeeding pregnancies.
- There is no definite number of fetal movements that should be counted. However, mothers should take note when movement decreases from the usual. This should be a cause of concern.
- Monitoring Fetal movement can save a fetus’ life. It is indicative of the fetus’ health. When movements become sparse, it could mean the baby is at risk.
Understanding Fetal Movements
In order for mothers to effectively monitor fetal movement, she needs to understand the nature of these movements. Here are more facts on how to monitor baby movement during pregnancy.
- When the mother notices the baby move for the first time, she will start to feel it more frequently.
- It may be difficult for a woman to feel fetal movements when she’s busily engaged in other activities and not paying attention.
- Quickening tends to occur more at specific times of day – and the baby can move more actively while you’re resting and sleeping while you’re wide awake.
- When the baby’s back is positioned towards the front of the womb, the baby’s movement may be felt less forcefully compared to when the baby’s extremities are towards the front, as the kicks and jabs can be felt well.
- Baby movement doesn’t happen when the baby is asleep, which they usually do for 20-40 minutes even up to 90 minutes every time.
- Your position can amplify or tone down the way you feel the movements. You can best monitor fetal movement when lying down as compared to when you are sitting or standing.
- The 3rd trimester of the pregnancy is when you’ll feel the movements more frequently and should be so until labor.
- At 36 weeks age of gestation, quickening becomes more powerful, and you’ll experience the baby roll, squirm, and press more actively. · You can expect the baby to keep moving until you are on labor.
Frequency of Monitoring Fetal Movement
As mentioned earlier, fetal movements tend to happen at specific times. When you notice the baby moves actively, you might want to perform a fetal movement monitoring. Generally, there is no rule as to the frequency of fetal monitoring. But you should familiarize your baby’s movement pattern and do so regularly. You can take the time when you are resting to catch fetal movements. However, never attempt to induce any movement. Some people think they can get the baby to move. If you have been advised by your healthcare practitioner to count baby kicks daily, you can chart those for reference purposes.
Monitoring Fetal Movements
Cardiff ‘count-to-ten” method is the easiest FM monitoring means and only requires the mother to notice the movements during her usual daily activities. Here’s how to monitor baby movement during pregnancy using Cardiff count-to-ten method:
- Select a time during the day to do this. Pick the time you observed your baby to most active. Perform the task at the same time daily.
- Record the time it takes the baby to move 10 times.
- Count all distinct fetal movements such a kick, a jab, a roll, stretch, or others that you are sure aren’t cause by any other abdominal movements but make sure not to include hiccups.
- You should be able to count 3 movements in 1 hour or 10 movements within 10 hours, although most women are able to feel it in much lesser time.
- If less than 10 movements are recorded within 10 hours or if you have noticed a steadily decreasing fetal movement, notify your healthcare giver for further medical evaluation.
Monitoring fetal movements at home costs nothing but is very helpful in assessing a baby’s condition in your womb. The World Health Organization (WHO) even recommends moms to perform it to prevent fetal morbidities and decrease fetal mortality. Because it is such a crucial task for mothers-to-be, all pregnant women should learn how to monitor baby movement during pregnancy. When it comes to your baby’s well-being, moms should know and do all that she can to make way for a healthy pregnancy. This is to ensure that your baby is safe while inside the womb – the most delicate time of a human’s life. Get more tips on pregnancy.