Ask Nurse Dani: When Should I Feel My Baby Move?

Pregnant Woman

Your pregnancy, especially if you are a first-time mom, is an exciting time full of new experiences, and sometimes worries. One of these concerns moms often come to me about is their baby’s movement, specifically when and how much movement they should feel.

Most pregnant women start to feel their babies move between 16-18 weeks of pregnancy. Some may feel movement sooner though, especially if they are veteran moms and remember what it felt like during their last pregnancy.

Here is a video I made that answers some of your baby movement questions and concerns in more detail: 

VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFG8b0Dx6LI

If you are in the 16-18 week range and are not feeling your baby move, there may be some simple explanations. It could be that the placenta is at the front of your belly, preventing you from feeling a lot of movement. This doesn’t mean your baby is not moving; it just means that you are not feeling the movements. Wait until your baby is a little bit bigger and his or her movements are stronger. They will be easier to feel at that point.

By the beginning of your third trimester you should feel regular movement. The guideline is that you should feel about six movements per hour. If it's ever less than that, or at any point in your pregnancy you feel concerned, just try this trick to track movements: drink something sweet (this helps encourage baby movement), lay down on one side, and count movements.

If you feel six or more – great! If you are in your third trimester and feel five movements or less in an hour (some guidelines say ten or less movements in two hours), then it's definitely time to go to the hospital and get checked out. They can put your baby on the monitor and make sure everything is okay.

The best indication you have that your baby is doing well when you're not at the hospital or hooked up to a monitor is that you are feeling your baby move. We are huge believers in mother's intuition. If your baby is moving less than normal or you just feel something might not be right, we'd love to check you out and make sure things are okay. Good luck with everything and congratulations on your pregnancy!

If you have other questions during your pregnancy or about your newborn, feel free to ask them on our Facebook page, Intermountain Moms, and recommend us to your friends and family too.