In the womb

Feeling your baby move

Giving guidelines on foetal movements is difficult because the range of normal is so vast. Here are some general rules for monitoring foetal movement, what to look out for and information on non-stress tests


Feeling your baby move

It is generally unhelpful to compare your baby’s movements to someone else’s baby. It may also be misleading to compare your second or third baby’s movements to your first. They really are different little individuals, even at this very early stage.

Compounding the problem even further are differences in maternal perceptions of foetal movements. Some moms notice every little movement while others don’t feel even fairly vigorous movements.

The role of placenta in feeling your baby move

Movements to the front of the abdomen are usually more easily perceived than movements towards the back. If the placenta is positioned in front of the uterus (anterior placenta), it may act as a cushion reducing perception of movement.

Placental position may thus have an effect on what the mom feels, but maternal perception also plays a role. If, for example, mom is very busy, she may perceive fewer movements than when she is relaxing quietly.

Types of movements felt

The type of movements also varies at different stages of the pregnancy.

Early pregnancy

In very early pregnancy, flutters are felt. These develop into stronger “thumping” movements.


Around 28 weeks the movements become more “wriggly” and “squirmy.” This change in movement pattern is often interpreted as reduced movement and causes alarm. It is simply due to the fact that baby has less space.

What to look out for

What to look out for is a sustained reduction in movement. If baby becomes distressed in the womb, movements will reduce or stop some hours before a disaster occurs. A sustained reduction in foetal movement must therefore always be taken seriously and must always be checked out.

Asking for a non-stress test

If you are concerned, simply go to the labour ward, report the decreased foetal movement and ask for a non-stress test (NST). The midwife on duty will connect you to a foetal monitor and will monitor the foetal heart pattern over about a 20 minute period.

If the pattern is fine, you can safely be sent home. If there is any doubt, your obstetrician will be called and further tests may be necessary.

If there is an abnormal pattern from the non-stress test

If a frankly abnormal pattern is noted, the baby may have to be delivered prematurely as a life saving procedure. Never ignore a reduction in foetal movement and always have it checked out, it may save your baby’s life.

How to assess foetal movements

Numerous methods have been developed to try to objectively assess foetal movements.

Count-to-10 chart

One of the simpler and more practical methods is called the “count to 10 chart”. This is a very simple objective method of assessing foetal movements and is useful in high risk pregnancies or when uncertainty exists. It is only useful in the third trimester as prior to this perception of movements may be inconsistent.

As soon as you wake up in the morning start counting foetal movements. A movement is defined as a distinct change in position or series of kicks. If baby gives 6 little kicks in rapid succession, this is regarded as 1 movement. When the 10th movement of the day is felt, the time is noted and no further counting is necessary. If no movement is noted by lunchtime, or if you don’t count 10 movements in 10 hours, go to the labour ward for a NST.

Disclaimer: The advice on this site is for information purposes only. Please consult your health professional.

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Comments - 73 comments


Hi Rosina jst wanted to find out how did u go do u hv a baby now please let me know.
Posted on Sun, Feb 8th 2015, 10:31


I am pregnant And I don't know how long I've gone because my periods never stopped. My period pains. Are still there painful like nobodys business. Is there anything to worry about? Please help. I went for several sonars but the doctors can't find or see my baby, I was transfered to the Britz District Hospistal and still they found nothing. They even tried the pregnancy test and still it came out negative. I'm stressed please help.
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Posted on Mon, Jun 30th 2014, 09:35


Hi..i hve a baby boy who will be turning 6months next week...i started getting my period in April but lastweek i started to feel flutters in my stomach, i used a condom during sex, could i be preg? I hve ths feeling tht i migth be preg.
Posted on Thu, Jun 19th 2014, 22:35


Im currently 26 weeks 1 day pregnant with an alterior placenta. I feel no movements unless she punches my pelvic bone. Husband cannot feel her, my tummy doesnt move from the outside, and half the time she can only be felt if I am laying on my stomach. So, the 10 count would probably never work for me.
Posted on Thu, Jun 5th 2014, 15:23


I didn't feel either of my babies kick until around 20 weeks. With my first, he slowed down around 40 weeks, and I thought it was due to lack of space in the womb. I had a nonstress test at around 40.5 weeks and found out he had to be delivered ASAP. I had an emergency C-section to deliver the baby. If you go past due, I urge you to get a nonstress test (especially if you are older). I almost didn't have the test because the March of Dimes kept bragging about how it was better for baby to stay in the womb then be delivered early, and all a natural birth book said the same thing.
Posted on Mon, Apr 14th 2014, 12:56


I would really advise most of these pregnant ladies to actually do some research so that you know what is considered normal or not. You cannot feel your baby kick when you are 3 weeks pregnant! It is not the same for every woman but usually from 20 weeks some flutters should be felt. If in doubt just got get a NST at the hospital maternity ward. Please read as much as you can ladies!!!
Posted on Fri, Mar 28th 2014, 16:12


Umm... Very useful information, Thank you.
Posted on Fri, Mar 28th 2014, 16:09


This is my 4th pregnant, first it was molar pregnant, 2nd i did abortion, third my pregnacny run away at 4 weeks.Now I am three months bt I dnt feel any movements plc help worried.When am I going to feel my angel kicks? I can't wait for the kicks.
Posted on Tue, Jan 14th 2014, 12:22


It is possible for the foetus to have some movements at about 12 weeks?
Posted on Wed, Dec 11th 2013, 12:25

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Posted on Sat, Nov 30th 2013, 19:35

Tseko diaho

My wife is pregnant,now she not feeling the baby in womb. I think she is 13 weeks.
Posted on Mon, Nov 25th 2013, 07:54


I will be 12weeks in a few days and I am assuming that the random jolts in my tummy would be the baby moving, could I be wrong?
Posted on Tue, Oct 29th 2013, 18:07

shanice siddo

I'm now 13 weeks pregnant and strangely I've been feeling the baby moving from 12 weeks. My friends and others have been sayin its too early to feel that especially since its my first cchild, but I'm positve I felt him turn and pound my tummy(my hands are always on my tummy so I can feel the movements) and couple days ago I felt a sharp jerk pain in the lower right part of my back,. What does that mean? And is it normal to be feeling my baby turning etc so early?
Posted on Wed, Oct 16th 2013, 00:23


Thank you for this valuable post. It changed my idea.
Posted on Tue, Oct 8th 2013, 12:49


Thank you very much for this vital information, will definitely watch out for the kicks.
Posted on Wed, Sep 25th 2013, 16:39


i am 8mnths pregnant,i havnt fil the kicks of the bby anymor i fil only the bby is ok?plz help this is my first bby.
Posted on Sat, Sep 7th 2013, 20:48


hi.. im 15weeks now.. my baby is very strong and always moving..^-^ i just drink a lot of water everyday and eat a lot of food lol i hope she/he is really healthy..
Posted on Mon, Sep 2nd 2013, 14:00

My name is Lungie

Hai, am 28 weeks pregnant and my bouncing little baby moves more frequently. I work in the restaurent working a maximum of 8:5 hours moving around the restaurent and do get 30min break. O normally work 5-7 days in a raw. Now my concern is, is it nomarm the way my baby moves or is it caused by the type of job m doing because once I get time 2 ralax I will feel all types of kicks you can imagine in my womb. Is this bad?(Concern). Thanks in advance.
Posted on Thu, Aug 8th 2013, 17:33


hi. I m 30 weeks pregnant and I usually slightly feel pain on my left side of the womb but doesn't last long, and I ve been stressed lately so was wondering if that is coursed by the stress I have or is it normal? my baby moves normal I guess but he doesn't do kick he is doing sum weird movement like he is rolling or turning in most times n feel him more when I m lying on my sides.
Posted on Wed, Jul 31st 2013, 08:58


I'm approximately three months two weeks pregnant with my 1st child I'm so happy and cant wait to see the baby. I'm a bit worried because I have not yet felt any movements is that normal .
Posted on Fri, Jul 26th 2013, 19:56


im 7 weeks 5 days preggies and sometimes feel someting moving in my tummy like bubbles.. is it possible for my baby to be moving at this stage?
Posted on Wed, Jul 24th 2013, 12:18


I m going back to work in August, i am breastfeeding, now i want my baby to get used to bottlefeeding but i find it hard, coz she cries when i give her a bottle. What do i do? Please help.
Posted on Wed, Jul 17th 2013, 13:11

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Posted on Mon, Jul 1st 2013, 08:40


Im 21yrs old...nd i jst found out dt im preg tru a home txt strip...i went for a scan yesterday and d doctor said d baby is still too small so d scan cant see it a lil bit many days do u think my baby is?
Posted on Tue, Jun 18th 2013, 12:26


please how long does it take for a baby to breath ans noticed by scan? And is it possible for a baby to die and still be fresh in the womb? help.
Posted on Thu, May 30th 2013, 14:40

Sally Z

I am 13 weeks now and I still vomit like hell. My pregnancy is heavy and big. I cannot do anything. I already started to wear maternity clothes. I don't feel the baby at all. Should I be worried?
Posted on Fri, May 17th 2013, 18:57


Hi am 33 weeks today and my baby's movements has decreased and he kicks more on the right hand side than he does on the left or up so I was wondering if that's normal because I thought that now that he is headed down I will feel the movements more up here than on the side
Posted on Thu, May 16th 2013, 07:17


Me n my partner have been trying for a child it is almost 3 months nw n I fell pain on da left side of my womb. Did 2 pregnancy tests it was negative. I still c my periods
Posted on Mon, May 13th 2013, 09:11


Hi, im 19+ weeks and haven't felt real movements and kicks, so i want to know how long does it take to start feel the baby movements?
Posted on Tue, Apr 23rd 2013, 15:31


I'm 28 weeks pregnant,for the past five days I noticed that ma angel doesn't move as much as she did berofe,so yesterday I went to see ma doctor and told him about this he checked an said everything is fine ,even checked the heart beat ...but I still feel like something is not right coz she's too quite n doesn't respond to me when I rub ma stomach trying to communicate..I'm worried ..plz help
Posted on Wed, Apr 17th 2013, 23:44


Am 12 weeks. Its a miracle I have bin trying hard to get ababy but always failed but God is soooooo great I prayed for this for years but at 42 am pregnant wiz my first baby but could have bin the. 6th child but they always told me that they only saw an empty sac with nothing inside it but God is alive I went to de scan and I saw the miracle inside my womb. I THANK GOD HE CARES
Posted on Mon, Mar 18th 2013, 14:05


Am 13weeks and 3days but my appetite is low i hadle eat, i would take a pear, banana, apricot and a smal youghurd this takes me through the day in the evening i practically force myself to eat should i consult a doctor? Though i do take Folic Acid and premag tablets from the doctor.
Posted on Wed, Feb 13th 2013, 13:05


i am 23 Weeks and my baby has not moved for 2 days. i am so worried and i am going to the Dr today. i am also afraid to find out that something might be wrong with my baby coz the baby has been very active before the movements stopped. {Thinking of you, Moxxy! All the best. Sophia xxx}
Posted on Wed, Feb 13th 2013, 07:46


Plz is it normal 4 a gurgling stomach during pregnancy?
Posted on Sun, Feb 3rd 2013, 23:45


Thank you for the article. It was helpful. I'm due in about 2.5 weeks and noticed that I wasn't noticing as much movement as I used to. But after reading the article and talking with my doctor, I have been reassured that I'm good to go for the moment. Good luck to all of you mothers out there. This is my first and I'm really excited!
Posted on Fri, Dec 21st 2012, 18:46


am in my forty weeks of pregnacy and hv not seen any sign, my baby movement is very slow pls eligthen me wht should i do am not using any hospital, but a church mid wife, pls this is ny first child.
Posted on Mon, Dec 17th 2012, 13:58


Oh my baby has been kicking for a good while but after I went through depression because this is my first child, his movements get weaker by the day,I fear something may be wrong especially after the depression stage. [Busi, please urgently see your doctor. Could be nothing but you want to get it checked out. Good luck! xx Ed]
Posted on Mon, Dec 10th 2012, 17:18


I'm not pregnant but me and my partner we've been trying for a baby now I'm starting to have pains in my left side of my womb after my periods and I will have bubbles movement could it be that I'm pregnant I also had a home pregnancy test it was negative
Posted on Tue, Nov 27th 2012, 19:30


I am now 27weeks,I got to see my little Princess again today at the Gayne,geez she has grown soo much,she nw weighs 1100grams.She kicks and turns soo much,I love the feeling of having her inside of me.
Posted on Tue, Nov 27th 2012, 18:19


Scharlene, I had the same cramps around the same gestation and the doctor told me it was my uterus preparing to carry the baby and the placenta attaching itself to the walls of the uterus. She said not all women feel this happening. I guess we're just the lucky few, lol. Anyway, hope all is well!
Posted on Tue, Nov 27th 2012, 16:16


I am 27weeks pregnant and baby does move but he moves a lot when I'm with baby daddy and when I'm hungry,is this normal I'm very worried. He also "sleeps" a lot if that's how I could puit it this worries me a lot, should I go see a doctor about this?
Posted on Tue, Nov 27th 2012, 15:59


M a 22 yr lady n m almost 8 months pregnant.m gr8ful dt m abt to b a mother n i thank God fr dt.i am xctd bt scared of the day m going to dlvr.wht cn i xpct?
Posted on Tue, Nov 27th 2012, 15:56


Hi I am 16 weeks now and my baby started moving on the 12th week now he/she has not moved for 2 days but when I cough she/he moves a little bit, must I go and see a doctor? I think the cause is that I have worked hard on Saturday.
Posted on Mon, Oct 29th 2012, 08:19


Posted on Thu, Oct 25th 2012, 08:23


hi, i am 28. I lost my first pregnancy at 6month by miscourging. I got pregnant again after 3month. Just to notice my child has stopped moving and died in my womb stil at 6months. What is wrong with me? Wil i ever get a chance to carry a baby in my womb for 9months?
Posted on Sun, Sep 23rd 2012, 00:11


Hi, I am between 4 and 5 weeks pregnant and I am experiencing cramps on the left side of my womb. Is that normal or should I consult my doctor?
Posted on Wed, Sep 5th 2012, 12:38


Am on my 15th week and already I can feel the movement. Its a great feeling hey usually feel lots of it whenever I drink water or just finish eating. I am hoping for a little boy but my dad is a twin so there is a high possibility of twins lol
Posted on Thu, Jul 19th 2012, 13:59


I am 16 weeks and this is my very first pregnancy,I am enjoying every bit/moment of it.I am lucky I did not experience morning sickness except for CRAVINGS and HEARTBURN!!!This is the best thing that has ever happen in my life.This has brought joy in my life am forever happy and always positive.I thank God for this wonderful gift,He is a GREAT GOD.The joy that I have nobody can take it away.I am really looking forward to hold my PUMKIN(MIRACLE).
Posted on Sun, Jul 8th 2012, 22:00


Im 23 weeks know i feel my baby kicking and moving around . and at unexpected time when heor she does i feel more good and some big difference in me that i cant express.............................
Posted on Thu, Jul 5th 2012, 22:10


Posted on Mon, Jul 2nd 2012, 16:45


I am almost 3 months and it has been very hard for me,with the Morning sickess but one thing I really love is the movements ,they really come as a surprise to me.I am really looking foward to hold my Pumkin.
Posted on Thu, Jan 19th 2012, 16:48


This is my third pregnancy and on my 37th week. I feel so excited when she moves its like the first time I ever experience this.
Posted on Wed, Nov 30th 2011, 22:28


I'm 39 wks and i am so tired.waiting 4 de 1st sign of labour.what must i expect.
Posted on Mon, Nov 7th 2011, 21:27

Oopsy's Mamma

I have a anterior placents I am now 23 weeks and have hardly experionsed any movement. I have a doppler so I now my bubs is fine I just want to feel him move:(
Posted on Wed, Oct 19th 2011, 16:56


am 23 weeks and i thank God for YP i have learned so much it's my first pregnancy and now i know i don't have to worry any more my baby is so active and loves his space its the most wonderful feeling ever i would never trade this for anything
Posted on Sun, Jul 31st 2011, 11:32


I am 20 weeks pregnant and have felt my baby moving since 18 weeks. Its the most amazing feeling....Its my 1st pregnancy and im enjoying everybit of it... cant wait for my gynea check up tomorrow, will see my baby on the scan, look forward to it every month....just sooo awesome!!!!
Posted on Mon, Jun 20th 2011, 15:02


I think i have a little balerina growing in my tummy 27wks and i dont call whats happening inside me kicks anymore if feels like she's dancing nonstop,i always smile or even laugh by my self the brash my tummy.GOD KNOWS I CANT WAIT TO HOLD MY NUNUZA IN MY HANDS
Posted on Mon, May 30th 2011, 15:44


Last Thursday my baby moved none stop, I so feared going into labour only at 27wks. The last scan I did the babies head was already down but now I'm not sure whether he turned again. The kicks are all at the bottom, every movement makes me run to the bathroom. It feels like something is about to come out. It's my third child but I never felt so scared before. Maybe I waited to long, as my last born is 8yrs old. I can't wait to hold my nunus in my arms.
Posted on Tue, May 17th 2011, 16:03


Im 23 weeks and started feeling little bumps like small kicks what does it mean cos im wondering what does it mean when they say a moves and kicks at what stage will i start feeling that?? this is my first child and i must say im enjoying my pregnancy a lot. Thank you for the lovely magazine big ups to the team
Posted on Tue, Apr 12th 2011, 10:10

Christina Kombora-Ind

I just love feeling my baby's movement,it's lyk she'll be trying 2 tell me something..i respond by massaging my belly..i cant wait for
Posted on Thu, Mar 31st 2011, 12:38


I`m 27weeks and I just love it when she moves because she doesn`t want anything invading in her space even putting something on top of the tummy lol I just love evry moment when she`s moving :) I can`t wait 4 May
Posted on Mon, Feb 28th 2011, 14:26


Posted on Mon, Feb 28th 2011, 12:25


i'm 20weeks and i keep feeling little bumps more like bubbles, they occur quite ofetn is this normal? i also have a sharp pain on the left of my womb but i feel when i sleep on it. Should I be worried?
Posted on Tue, Jan 25th 2011, 10:49


My little munchkin is very active at 29 weeks. At times the kicks / movements are so intense that I have stop whatever I'm doing just to catch my breath again. I cannot wait to meet him face to face but am sure that I’ll miss this feeling… Friends and family are always so amazed to feel him moving and the look on their faces is always something else once they feel him going about moving around comfortably in his own space.
Posted on Wed, Nov 3rd 2010, 13:59

Dzunisani Glory Phosa

its not actually a comment-im just amazed on how my baby frequently moves in just 22 weeks old now.also to say thank you for this baby movement insight info.
Posted on Wed, Oct 13th 2010, 11:19


im almost three months now n feeling tired and sleepy all the time,i have been drinking lots of water but it doesnt help since i get hungry after that ands it becomes impossible to concentrate once your stomach becomes uncomfortable.what can i do at this point?
Posted on Sun, Sep 26th 2010, 18:12

Lilian Ndlovu

I am almost three months, but I feel something like movents, what can that be?
Posted on Fri, Jul 16th 2010, 13:14

Lilian Ndlovu

I am almost three months, but I feel something like movents, what can that be?
Posted on Fri, Jul 16th 2010, 13:14


I am 23wks and have not felt my baby kick. Only movement are bubble like. I have fibroeds on each side and the baby is lying breech. Could this be why i have not felt any strong kicks or am i rushing?
Posted on Mon, Apr 5th 2010, 08:11

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