An easy way to check the health of your baby is to count the number of times the baby kicks or moves each day. Good fetal movement usually means that the baby is receiving enough blood and oxygen. It is normal to feel fetal movements at certain intervals only. Each pregnancy is different, and the way the movements will be felt are very dependent upon the amount of amniotic fluid, the size and position of the baby as well as the location of the placenta. Fetal movements can be felt as strong kicks and turns, but can also be felt as simple rolls, twists, and swishes. Usually as the baby approaches term, the gently rolling movements will be most common.
Start counting fetal movements on a daily basis beginning at 28 weeks gestation. This can be done anytime during the day, whenever it is most convenient for you. Pick the time when your baby seems to be moving the most. Babies are often more active after a meal or after a short walk. First thing in the morning after breakfast is a good time to verify adequate fetal movement. If it is difficult to feel the movements, you can lie on your left side and put your hands on your lower tummy. Try to feel for 10 movements in one hour. After you have reached the count of 10, you can stop counting.
If you have not felt your baby move ten times within one hour, drink two glasses of water or other beverage and lie down on your left side. If your baby still has not moved (ten) times after the additional hour of counting, call the clinic day or night or call L&D. You might be asked to come in to the clinic for a checkup and ultrasound or you may be asked to go to L&D. This usually does not take more than an hour or two.