Your baby’s movements

From around 16 to 24 weeks, you should feel your baby move. You should then feel the baby move more and more up until 32 weeks then stay roughly the same until you give birth. Movements then stay about the same until your baby is born.

Although a change in your baby’s movements could be nothing to worry about, if you notice a reduction, you should call the maternity unit  straight away as this may be a sign that your baby may be unwell. Babies movements should not slow down towards the end of pregnancy or during labour.

If your baby’s movements reduce again after your check up, call your maternity team no matter how many times this happens.

Key points

  • The pattern of your baby’s movements is unique
  • There is no set number of normal movements
  • Get to know your baby’s movements
  • If you think your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped, speak to your midwife or maternity unit immediately (midwives are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week). There is always a midwife available, even at night.  This may be an important warning sign that a baby is unwell.
  • Around half of women who had a stillbirth noticed their baby’s movements had slowed down or stopped.

Further information and information in different langagues

More information is available in English and other languages on your baby’s movements and when to call a midwife at the following links:

My Health London pregnancy information: 'Safer pregnancy' leaflets by MAMA Academy and 'Feeling a baby move is a sign they are well' leaflet by Tommy's

MAMA Academy: 'Pregnancy essentials' leaflet

Tommy's: 'Feeling a baby move is a sign they are well' leaflet