Is it Important to Track Daily Fetal Movement Count?


Is it Important to Track Daily Fetal Movement Count?

Fetal movements can be an incredibly exciting and reassuring experience for expectant parents. Most parents-to-be describe the feeling of baby moving inside the womb as one of the most magical and emotional moments during pregnancy. The baby's movement is a loving reminder of the life growing inside the mother's womb, establishing a deeper emotional connection between the parents and the unborn child. Hence, keeping a daily fetal movement count helps in fostering a sense of excitement and anticipation for the arrival of their little one.

Normal fetal movements reassure parents about the baby's well-being and development. Every fetus is different, and so is every pregnancy. Thus, the movement of every fetus varies. As long as the movement lies in a healthy range, you do not need to worry. Also, to understand the pattern of your fetus’s normal movement, you can observe the daily fetal movement counting. Continue reading to learn more about normal fetal movements for every trimester, when they start, how they look like, and when to worry.

What is Fetal Movement?

Fetal movement meaning counting the number of baby (fetus) kicks in a specific period. It involves keeping track of how often you feel your baby move. Not only is it an indicator of health, but helps in mother-baby bonding as well. There are different types of fetal movements like respiratory movements, rolling movements and simple movements like kicks and punches. So, any change in fetal movements can help you know if your baby is doing okay or if it needs any medical support. 

Start of Fetal movement

The first fetal movements are termed quickening. They are very gentle, even leaving you doubtful if you actually experienced them. Usually, the baby kicks start being observable by the second trimester after quickening. This starts between 16 to 22 weeks. However, different women can experience their first noticeable movement at different times. For example, women who are getting pregnant for the first time may experience 20 weeks pregnant movement in the lower abdomen. On the other hand, for women who have conceived before, the kicks can be noticeable as early as 16 weeks.

Nevertheless, don't forget every pregnancy is different, so there is no hard-core rule for the fetus movement in pregnancy. It can be anywhere between 16 weeks to 22 weeks.

Fetal Movement in the Second Trimester 

At the start of the second trimester, jotting down the daily fetal movement count can be a tough task. The movement around this period is a bit unpredictable. In the very start, the kicks are generally light. However, as you move forward in your pregnancy journey, the movement can be quick and intense. In that case, you may wonder about the fetal movements at 24 weeks, what is normal and what should one experience? By 24 weeks to the end of the second trimester, the movements turn larger into kicks and punches.

Further, your doctor can now feel your baby around this time by simply touching your belly.

Fetal Movement in the Third Trimester

By the third trimester, you will be able to draw patterns around your baby's movements. You can carefully monitor them to understand your baby's activeness.  The fetal movements in the lower abdomen third trimester can help you  understand if your baby is more active in the daytime or night or if there is some specific time to observe your baby's movements. The fetal movements can also be a bit visible around this time. 

This period is when your baby is growing, being healthy and strong. However, by the end of the third trimester, your baby won't be able to move that much.  Baby's growing weight can be one of the causes of decreased fetal movement 34 weeks. 

So, doctors suggest following kick counts around the end of the third trimester. There are two ways to calculate kick counts:

  • Use an hour to calculate the total number of kicks.
  • Note the time taken by the fetus to do approximately 10-15 kicks.

Normal Daily Fetal Movement Count

Doctors, in general, suggest making a fetal movement chart to count your baby's normal movement. To feel the movement, consider lying down or taking a seat, whatever feels most comfortable to you. Now, feel the fetus move by simply placing your hand on the lower abdomen.

To keep track of normal fetal movement per day, you simply need to count the baby's movement once a day. The normal count ranges to be at least 6 kicks in two hours. If you are not feeling at least 6 kicks, then this is one of the indicators of when to worry about fetal movement. 

Decreased Fetal Movement- Causes and When to Worry

There can be several reasons for the decreased fetal movement. Some of them may even be harmless ones. For example, it might be possible to experience low fetal movement when your baby is napping. However, that might not always be the case. And there may be some serious reasons for decreased fetal movement.

The lower fetal movement may be a result of your baby's illness. There might be an issue with their placenta or even umbilical cords. Fetal distress can also reduce the movement of your baby. In all these cases, you are suggested to visit a doctor and get a non-stress test done. This will be quite helpful in understanding your baby's overall wellness, including heart rate and more. It can also help you know what can cause decreased fetal movement in the third trimester.

You can also improve daily fetal movement through simple practices like eating healthy, doing some basic exercise like walking, turning the flashlight on your belly, and so on. Anyway, you are always advised to consult your doctor regularly and maintain optimum health for yourself and your baby. 

Summing Up 

The baby growing in your womb must be very special to you. So it is normal if you like to check on its health and wellness regularly. As mentioned, fetal movement and kick counts are some of the best ways to do the same even at the convenience of your home. Kicking in pregnancy is usually experienced between 18 to 25 weeks of pregnancy for first-time moms. With time, these gentle flutters become more distinct. 

However, as each pregnancy is different, the timing and frequency of fetal movements can vary from woman to woman. The fetal movement for every trimester varies and is distinct for every woman as well. However, there may be some alarming signs, like reduced kicks in the third trimester and others. These signs can be answers to your basic questions, like when to go to the hospital for decreased fetal movement.

For all-around health coverage before, during, and after your pregnancy journey, you may rely on maternity care plans by Care Health Insurance. The comprehensive health plan ensures you do not have to worry about expenses concerning you and your child.

>> Also Read: How to Claim the Maternity Cover in Health Insurance?


1. The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

2. All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

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