Can I monitor my baby's movements myself?

I know it's my nature to be a worrier, but I get concerned whenever it seems like the baby hasn't moved for a while. I can't call my doctor every time the baby slows down. Is there any way for me to monitor the baby's well-being myself?

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Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

Sure. If you're concerned about the baby's activity, you can do what is called "fetal movement" counting at home. Don't make yourself crazy over it, but whenever you feel concerned, go someplace quiet where you can really pay attention to what's going on, have something to eat or drink (to wake the baby up if he or she is asleep), place your hand on your belly and simply count the movements. Count each kick, wiggle or roll as one movement.

Note the time when you feel the first movement (hiccups don't count), and record how long it takes to feel ten separate movements. If it takes longer than three to four hours, or if you're noticing less movement each day, you should notify your caregiver.

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