Signs of Trouble

Reduced fetal movement

As your baby grows, you may start to feel that she's less active. The truth is that if she's healthy, she's moving as much as she did when she was smaller, but her movements feel different because she's all folded up and wedged in your uterus. Your baby has about as much space to move as you would if you were trying to swim in a bathtub.

If you're concerned because you notice a big difference in your baby's activity rate, you can count kicks. After eating a meal or snack, sit or lie down comfortably in a quiet place with no distractions, check the time, and count how many times your baby moves, kicks, twists, or pushes an elbow into your lungs. (Don't count hiccups.) You can count how many times she moves in an hour, or how long it takes for her to move 10 times. If you don't feel much movement, try again later on -- your baby may be sleeping. It should take her no longer than an hour to kick 10 times, although you may find that you feel 10 movements long before an hour passes.

Write down your baby's kick rate and then count again the next day at about the same time. Overall you should come up with approximately the same number of movements from day to day. If your baby's activity level drops dramatically, call your doctor. It simply may be that your baby may not be feeling well or she is a less active baby, but in either case you should check with your doctor.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

All content on this Web site, including medical opinion and any other health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this site and the information contained herein does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

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