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When to Call Your Care Provider About Fetal Movement

Feeling your baby move inside you is among the most exciting pregnancy moments. When you feel your baby move, you have a sense that they are healthy and strong and that you perceive a glimpse of what they will be like after they’re born.

Your care providers use fetal movement to check on your baby’s well-being. Although it’s normal for a baby not to be moving all the time — after all, they spend plenty of time sleeping — keeping track of fetal movement can give your provider information about your baby’s health.

At Westover Hills Women’s Health in San Antonio, Texas, our obstetrical care providers — including our experienced doctors and certified nurse midwives — want to ensure you understand fetal movement well. 

This includes knowing when fetal movement (or a lack thereof) merits a call to our practice. Please read on to learn more.

About fetal movement

Fetal movement is a sign that your baby is growing and becoming stronger. Although movement first feels like a flutter or a feather moving inside you, as your pregnancy progresses, it can start to feel like your baby is doing gymnastics in your belly.

Generally, you start to feel your baby move during the second trimester.

If fetal movement doesn’t occur, or if it slows down, you need to let your provider know. Although it may not be anything to worry about, it could also be a sign that your baby is restricted in some way or not growing and developing as they should be.

If anything is wrong, your provider may be able to recommend an intervention to help your baby.

Counting your baby’s kicks

Your doctor or midwife may recommend that you do something called kick counting during your third trimester. With kick counting, also known as fetal movement counting, you pay attention to how long it takes to feel a specific number of kicks. 

For example, your provider may ask you to track how long it takes to feel 10 kicks.

It’s best to do a kick count during a time of day when your baby is usually active — for example, when you lie down to go to sleep, after you eat, after you drink fruit juice, or when you’re out walking.

Your provider may tell you that if you don’t feel your baby moving during a specific window of time, you should wait for an hour or two and repeat the kick test.

If you notice a change in your baby’s kick pattern, please call our office.

When to reaching out to your provider

Knowing when to call your provider with pregnancy questions can be challenging, especially if you’re experiencing pregnancy for the first time. When in doubt, please call. Here at Westover Hills Women’s Health, we invite you to contact us anytime with questions or concerns about fetal movement or any other topic.

Whether you have a question or would like to schedule an appointment at one of our two San Antonio, Texas, offices, you can call us today or use our online tool to book an appointment.

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