There is a simple way to check your baby's health at home or anywhere, called a fetal movement count. Every baby has normal sleep and awake times, so your baby will have periods of both quiet and active time. A movement may be a kick, stretch, turn or flip.
Your baby might be quite active while you are at work, but that may not be a very relaxing, easy place for you to count movements. Try resting in bed at home and counting kicks and movements there.
Your baby won't slow down and become less active before birth. The movements may change - as your baby grows, there is less room to maneuver - but the frequency of movement should not decrease.
By keeping track of your baby's movements for each day during the third trimester, you will get to know your baby's activity pattern. This can help alert you if your baby is not feeling well.
Once a day, during the third trimester of your pregnancy, record your baby's activity. Choose the time of day your baby is the most active, and begin timing fetal movements at about the same time every day.
If you smoke and have not been able to quit during your pregnancy, try not to smoke for at least 1 hour before you start counting. (Your baby gets less oxygen and food because nicotine from cigarettes tightens up your blood vessels.)
Call your health care provider if:
Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Gestational Diabetes: When You Have Diabetes During Pregnancy, third edition, ISBN 1-931876-21-6
Reviewed by Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts
Gestational diabetes class
High-risk pregnancy care
Allina Health Home Health - Mother & Newborn