Not available for this page. Translations will display where available.

Fetal movements

What is it?

Fetal movements is a term that refers to the baby’s movements in the womb during pregnancy. Your baby’s movements are one of the signs they are well.

Most pregnant women start to feel fetal movements from between 16 to 24 weeks. A baby’s movements can be described as a flutter, kick, swish or roll. Regular movements are a good sign your baby is healthy and well.

If your baby is unwell, their movements may slow or stop. A decrease in fetal movements can occur with other symptoms, like bleeding and pain. This may also occur if you have high blood pressure or if the baby is small for its gestation.

Your baby’s movements should not slow down or become weaker towards the end of your pregnancy. If you are worried about a change in your baby’s movements, or if you haven’t felt your baby move as much as usual, contact your GP or antenatal clinic as soon as you can. Your GP will check your baby’s health.

Being aware of your baby’s movements during pregnancy will help keep your baby safe and healthy.


What will my healthcare team do?

Your healthcare team will assess your baby’s wellbeing and provide appropriate care. They will talk to you about fetal movements and what to look out for in future.

What questions could I ask my doctor?

  • What is a normal amount of movement?
  • How will I know if there's a problem?
  • Who can I call if I have a question?

What can I do?

There is no set number of normal movements, so you should get to know the pattern of your baby’s movements.

You can do this by counting the number of movements your baby makes in an hour. This will be your baseline as the usual amount of movement your baby does.

You should continue to feel your baby move until and during labour. If you notice a decrease in the astrength or frequency of your baby’s movements at any time, you should contact your local birthing unit immediately.

Eating or drinking can help encourage your baby to move. Be sure to eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep and reduce stress.


What supports are available?

  • Birthing Unit

    If you notice there is less than normal fetal movements, contact your local birthing unit or your GP for an urgent assessment.

    • Campbelltown Hospital Maternity/Birthing Unit
    • Liverpool Hospital Birthing Unit

Where can I learn more?

Important: This information is to be viewed by someone who has received a diagnosis from their doctor. It is not designed to be used to diagnose a condition or as a substitute for ongoing medical care.

Health Resource Directory is an initiative of South Western Sydney PHN

Find something else

All Categories
Was this information useful?
"Thanks. If you have any other feedback, let us know."
What feedback do you have?