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Monitoring fetal movement

Feeling your baby kick can be a thrill, but should you keep a record of the movements?

Posted: 11 December 2007
by Laura Lee Davies

Nowadays, efficient courses of ultrasound scans through your pregnancy, as well as urine tests and antenatal check-ups where the GP or midwife will listen for a heartbeat, mean that your baby is probably being monitored enough for you not to have to worry about monitoring fetal movement in a formal way yourself.

When should I feel my baby move?
It is unlikely you will feel very much movement until around 18 to 20 weeks into your pregnancy. Some women may feel movements at around 16 weeks. At first these movements will feel more like a fluttering rather than a 'kick'.
Don't worry if you do not notice movement until you're between 20 and 30 weeks. If there are no medical concerns regarding your pregnancy and scans have proved good, this lack of movement might just be down to your body's own sensitivity.
By around 28 weeks you should definitely notice kicks and movements, but in the last two months before the birth, the movement becomes less obvious for some women, because the baby's size means they are less able to do tumbling tricks within the confines of your womb!

Using a doppler
A doppler can allow you to hear your baby's heartbeat from a very early stage in your pregnancy. Some couples love the thrill of using one to detect the tiny new life, others use them to feel reassured that all is well.
Although you should not get too hung up on monitoring your baby all the time, these dopplers can be useful. Check out our review of the Baby Beats doppler to get a feel for what these machines do.

For tips on what to look out for, and times when you can encourage more movement if you feel you need to, check out the ThinkBaby article .

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