KEEP­ING TRACK OF KICKS

Your Pregnancy - - Month By Month -

They were move­ments that re­as­sured Cindy her preg­nancy was on track and the baby within was healthy, since a lack of move­ment can in­di­cate foetal dis­tress or com­pli­ca­tions.

“I car­ried up into the 42nd week with both my preg­nan­cies and in those last two weeks it was im­por­tant for me to keep track that baby was mov­ing enough,” says Cindy. “My mid­wife sug­gested I kept a foetal move­ment chart, where I was asked to count all baby’s move­ments or kicks in four 30-minute pe­ri­ods each day.”

Most move­ments came at the same time each day, adds Cindy, which al­lowed her to es­ti­mate baby’s sleep and awake pat­terns and know what was nor­mal for what time. “Usu­ally I’d feel move­ment when I was in the bath, af­ter a meal or when I was ly­ing down.”

While there’s no ideal num­ber of move­ments, mid­wife Heather Pieterse, from Mid­wives Ex­clu­sive, says it’s cru­cial to know your baby’s typ­i­cal move­ment pat­terns af­ter the 25-week mark, and to be aware of any ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

“The usual rule is that ba­bies should have more than four move­ments in an hour but it de­pends on your baby’s reg­u­lar rhythm and pat­tern of move­ment,” she ex­plains. “Some ba­bies are qui­eter and calmer while oth­ers are very busy. Your baby should keep to her usual pat­tern of move­ment.”

“If move­ments are slower [than nor­mal] or ir­reg­u­lar, it is a good idea to con­tact your mid­wife or gy­nae­col­o­gist to en­sure all is well with baby,” Heather adds.

If it’s the op­po­site and baby’s kick­ing a lot, that’s not re­ally a cause for con­cern be­cause ba­bies can’t kick “too much”, she says. How­ever, in­creases in move­ment of­ten come be­fore de­creases and should be noted in case there’s a prob­lem.

Lastly, Heather points out that in the weeks lead­ing up to de­liv­ery (36 weeks and on­wards) ba­bies will of­ten sleep longer and move dif­fer­ently, shuf­fling side to side rather than out­right kicks and shoves. As long as your baby’s move­ments fit her typ­i­cal pat­terns, you have noth­ing to worry about.

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