One of the ways you know your baby is healthy in the latter part of your pregnancy is by feeling him move. Fetal movement can tell you and your OB provider if your baby has plenty of oxygen or if he is struggling in the uterus. While fetal movement is a positive sign, you should pay attention if your baby's movement markedly increases and feels different as it can be a sign of a potential pregnancy complication.
During your third trimester, you should monitor your baby's movement each day. You should feel your baby move 10 times over a two hour period. You can track the movements on a sheet of paper or you can track them a different way. For example, you can count out 10 pennies and move one penny to a cup each time you feel your baby move. Count kicks, rolls, squirms and stretches as movement.
Movement in the 9th Month
While many women feel that their babies move less toward the end of the pregnancy, babies actually continue to move even during labor. As babies run out of room, they can change the way they move and their mothers may feel them differently, but you should feel movement every day. If you feel that your baby is moving more frequently during the ninth month, you may just be more aware of the movement because the baby is bigger or the baby may have changed her active times to match the times you are awake and aware of her movements.
Some babies manage to move so much inside the uterus that they actually flip from head-down to breech presentation or even turn themselves sideways. As you observe and note your baby's movement, try to pay attention to how the baby has felt over the past few weeks. If your baby has been head-down and you suddenly note a hard round ball under your ribcage after a period of intense movement or if you suspect your baby has turned sideways, notify your healthcare provider right away. If you and your OB provider note that your baby is not head-down prior to active labor, you may be able to have aversion, in which your doctor tries to turn your baby to the correct position to prevent a cesarean section.
When your baby moves, you should feel reassured that she is doing well. If you notice that she is not moving normally, monitor her movements. You should notify your healthcare provider if your baby is not moving or if you have concerns about your baby's movements. Babies have active times and rest times, but your baby will have a movement pattern of her own. If she deviates from her normal pattern, call your doctor or midwife.