How to record fetal movements
One easy way you can check your baby’s health before birth, is to count the number of times he or she moves in a certain period each day. This is called a fetal movement count. Like adults, babies do not move constantly. They may sleep and rest just like we do throughout the day.
- Count fetal movements as instructed by your doctor or nurse. Choose the time of day when your baby is most active, this is probably one or two times per day.
- It may be wise to eat or drink something before counting as food can make your baby more active.
- Your baby may also be more likely to move if you yourself move around shortly before doing a count.
- It goes without saying in pregnancy but DO NOT smoke. Smoking may make your baby less active for up to 90 minutes as well as being very harmful to you and your unborn child.
- Use a note book to mark down movements.
- Rest on your left or right side. Get comfortable before you begin.
- Note the time you start counting.
- Each time your baby moves note this on paper.
- Count all of your baby’s movements – including kicks and rolls and any little movement. Sometimes you can see a ripple on your tummy when your baby changes position. Each feeling of movement counts as one movement on the chart.
- If you cannot feel your baby move inside, place your hands lightly on your belly and feel carefully for movement.
- When you have counted 10 movements stop counting.
When to call your doctor
Call your doctor or nurse if you:
- Find less than 10 movements in two hours.
- Notice a big change in the movements of your baby. Tell your doctor or nurse when you last felt your baby move and how it changed. He or she may use other tests, such as listening to the baby’s heart rate or monitoring the heart rate pattern over time.
- Have any questions or concerns.
Always contact your doctor if you are concerned.