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Fetal Movements: Is My Baby Kicking Enough?

Question:

I'm in my 26th week, reaching the end of my second trimester already, yet sometimes I don't feel my baby kicking for a while. Is this considered normal?


Fetal movements can be unpredictable before the third trimester begins at 28 weeks. It's easy to start fretting if your baby's moving enough, but there's usually no reason to be overly worried.

In fact, it's actually normal to experience different levels of fetal activity throughout the day. This is because your baby's movements are affected by sleep cycles, time of day, sound and your own activity level. Fetuses often sleep 40 out of every hour during the day and typically gets more active in the evening or after meals.

So when should you worry? Doctors advise that you should call your care provider if you don't feel movement for more than a day when you're between 24 and 28 weeks.

Actually, around the beginning of your third trimester, your doctor may discuss counting fetal movements, i.e. methods to help you keep track of your baby's stirrings. There are a few ways to do this and they all involve setting aside some time each day to count ten kicks. For example, one method is to lie down for an hour after dinner and track the time it takes for ten kicks. It shouldn't take longer than two hours.

If you feel like things are too quiet, and you want some reassurance, here are some ways you can encourage your baby to move: Have a glass of orange juice or a piece of fruit (some mums notice their babies are active after they've eaten a high-sugar snack), play music to your stomach and lie on your left side (this position maximizes blood flow to the womb). But if these tricks still don't get you to ten kicks within an hour or two, check in with your ob-gyn.

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