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Counting Fetal Movements

You can help monitor the health of your baby by noting his/her movements each day. A mother’s awareness of her baby’s movements is one of the most important ways to ensure its health.

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By the third trimester, or 28 weeks, women usually notice some fetal movement during the day or night. Try to make a mental note to yourself every day or evening that you have felt your baby moving. Some days the baby is more active than others, which is normal.

If you find you haven’t felt the baby move during the day or night here are ways to keep track of the fetal movements:

  • Drink a glass of something sweet like juice or ginger ale.
  • Lie down on your left side for an hour or two in a quiet place free of distractions.
  • Have a paper and pencil handy to record any movements you feel, noting the time for each one. It does not need to be a strong kick; it could be a nudge, roll or stretch.
  • If you feel 5 or more movements in first 10 to 20 minutes or in the first hour, that is normal.
  • If you do not feel movements within 20 minutes, continue monitoring. Your baby may be sleeping and take 30 to 40 minutes to wake up. By the end of the first hour you should feel some movement, and by the end of the second hour at least 10 distinct movements. If not, call the doctor on call.