Your baby's movements during pregnancy

You will probably become aware of your baby's movements between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy.

You may feel a fluttering or a rolling sensation in your tummy. A baby's movements can be described as anything from a kick, flutter, swish or roll. The type of movement may change as your pregnancy progresses. Most babies settle into a pattern by 24 weeks.


Talk to your midwife, obstetrician or maternity hospital immediately if you are worried about your baby's movements. Do not wait until the next day to get advice.

If movements change, reduce or stop, it can sometimes be the first sign that your baby is unwell. Around half of women who have had a stillbirth noticed that their baby's movements had slowed down or stopped.

How often should my baby move?

There is no set number of movements that is normal. Every baby is different. You need to become aware of what is normal for your baby. Your baby will have their own pattern of movements that you will get to know.

From 16 to 24 weeks on, you should feel your baby move more and more up until 32 weeks. From 32 onwards the movements stay roughly the same until you give birth.

If your baby stops moving or moves less often

Your baby's movements are important, because feeling your baby move is a sign they are well. If movements reduce or stop, it can sometimes be the first sign that your baby is unwell.


If you do not feel your baby moving, talk to your GP or midwife. Even if this happens many times, get checked each time.

Do not use home dopplers

Using a home doppler (heartbeat monitor) or an app is not recommended and should never replace getting checked by your doctor or midwife.

Babies do not move less towards the end of pregnancy

It is not true that babies move less towards the end of pregnancy. You should continue to feel your baby moving throughout the pregnancy.


If your baby's movements happen less often, contact your maternity unit or midwife immediately. Do not wait until tomorrow.

Page last reviewed: 26 March 2018
Next review due: 26 March 2021

Slaintecare logo
This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 8.