Fetal Movements

How to ensure that your baby is feeling good inutero?  By making sure that his or her fetal movements are enough.  First off, never try to pay attention to fetal movements when you are fasting.  If the baby isn’t getting enough calories to give him energy, he will move less.  So three times a day, morning, afternoon, and evening, pay attention for one half an hour, after a meal.  The baby should move 4 times in half an hour.  Now science says the baby will sleep for 20 minutes, and be up moving for 10 minutes before going back to sleep.  But when monitoring babies we see there certainly are babies who are sleeping for an hour and a half, then up for 45 minutes.  So by paying attention to fetal movements you also get to know your baby.  If you don’t feel fetal movements in that half hour, drink something sweetish, lay down on your left side, and keep paying attention for his movements.   You should feel 10 movements in the next 3 and a half hours.  If you feel 9 movements in 4 hours, go do a monitor.  Babies who don’t feel well, move less, so you want to catch it before the baby is compromised, or worse.  Now, I know this sounds time consuming, but it’s not.  Usually after drinking something sweetish, and lying down, the baby will do all 10 movements in five minutes.  When we walk, 40% of our blood goes to the legs, so by lying down, the baby is getting a lot more oxygen, and glucose, and that’s what makes them dance.  When you’ve had a busy day, and you want to go to sleep, you lay down to go to sleep, and it becomes party time for the baby.  Occasionally there is the mom who says,”I feel the baby move more when lying on my right side”.  So she should be paying attention on her right side.  Always remember, there are no rules.

Now if you are term [between 37-42 weeks] pregnant], and you have a spontaneous rupture of membranes, [your water came down], or you have contractions, pay attention to fetal movements to see if the baby is okay with the new changes.  When these things occur, it’s very exciting, but don’t forget the baby.  If you are not term, go directly to the hospital,  clinic, or wherever you are being taken care of.  You should only be having a home birth with a term baby.

We are living,  or some of us are living in the fast lane.  Some moms to be haven’t time for anything.  ALWAYS take the time to feel how the baby is doing, and you won’t be sorry.  Take time when you paying attention for fetal movements to confirm your love to this little being.  Visualize the baby with his, or her umbilical cord floating up in that water.  Know that your babies are feeling well, and love them.


About Joyce Butler

Home birth midwife in Israel, focusing on areas in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion, Beit Shemesh and more.
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