Pregnancy: Fetal movement in second trimester

I am 26 weeks pregnant and have been feeling the baby move for about three weeks -- not kicks, but definite movement. Most days I feel 40 to 60 movements, but some days I hardly feel any, and the ones I do feel are "vague." Yesterday, I was so concerned that the doctor sent me to hospital. The baby was moving a lot but I wasn't feeling it. Is this normal?

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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

There is really no way to confirm fetal well-being using fetal kick counts until about 28 weeks. Before that, the baby's neurological system is not advanced enough to provide a regular pattern of fetal movement.

The best way to feel reassured is to confirm appropriate fetal growth by receiving regular prenatal care and, of course, by eating an excellent diet, getting exercise, reducing stress in your life and staying away from potential hazards such as smoking, alcohol and drugs.

After successfully navigating the first trimester, most fetal problems arise in the third trimester, so fetal movement counts are taught to mothers at about 28 weeks. Until then, you must have faith that all is well and you are doing everything possible to grow a healthy baby.

Try not to worry, and I wish you the best.

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