Motor activity of the fetus: movement - life, even before birth!


Feel clearly the first movement of the fetus, most women will be able to approximately the second half of pregnancy.

In primiparous women this occurs, as a rule, later than in those who are expecting a child for the second or third time. This is explained by the fact that women who have already given birth know what sensations should be, and for the first time pregnant women can take abdominal gas formation, intestinal motility or muscle contractions for fetal movements.

In addition, the anterior abdominal wall in women whose pregnancy is not the first, is more sensitive and stretched. Also, thinner women may feel the first movements of the fetus a little earlier than full ones.

Thus, primiparas most often feel the first movements. between 18th and 22nd weeks (the average term is the 20th week of pregnancy), and people who are puffed up feel fetal movements approximately on the 16th week.

When pregnant women feel the first tremors of their babies, then they have a lot of questions about the frequency with which the baby should move, or what “intensity” of the movements should be considered correct.

Here it should be noted that the development of each baby is individual, and the pace of development is different for everyone, therefore the norms regarding fetal movements are rather relative and have a wide range of fluctuations.

The nature of fetal movement, depending on the duration of pregnancy

First trimester

During the first trimester of pregnancy, the growth of the unborn child is characterized by a particularly pronounced degree of intensity. Of course, at these stages the future mother will not feel the first movements, since the embryo formed from the group of dividing cells is still very small. At this stage, the embryo is firmly attached to the wall of the uterus and is protected from the harmful effects of fetal membranes, amniotic fluid and myometrium - the muscular wall of the uterus.

Starting from 7–8 weeks, ultrasound can be used to observe the first movements of the limbs of an embryo. This occurs due to a sufficient degree of maturity of the nervous system of the baby to conduct a nerve impulse to the muscles. The movements of the embryo during this period are rather chaotic and not strong enough for mother to feel them.

By the beginning of the 14th - 15th week of pregnancy, the size of the fetus is already much larger, and the limbs have differentiated. Baby movements have become more active and intense. This period is characterized by the free “swimming” of the baby in the amniotic fluid. Despite the fact that on the ultrasound you can see how the baby pushes her legs off the walls of the uterus, the pregnant woman cannot feel these “repulsions”, as they are still very weak.

By the 18th - 20th weeks the fetus grows noticeably, therefore its movements are now more noticeable for the mother. They represent the first light touch, which pregnant women compare with the "fluttering of butterflies."

As the fetus grows, you can feel its movements more clearly, and by about the 20th week all pregnant women can clearly feel the first shocks of their baby.

During the second trimester, future mothers may feel the baby's movements in various parts of the abdomen, since it has not yet occupied a certain position in the uterus. At the same time, an ultrasound during this period of time can see how the future baby drinks amniotic fluid (with an ultrasound examination, it is possible to notice movements of the lower jaw), knocking with legs and handles, sorting out the umbilical cord and turning the head.

With the increase in gestational age, the tremors become stronger, and when the child turns inside the uterus outside, it can be noticed abdominal configuration changes. During this period of time, the expectant mother can even face the fact that her baby is committing "Hot" movementsfelt by her as the baby shudders at regular intervals. Their appearance is due to the intense ingestion of the fetus amniotic fluid and contractions of its diaphragm. It should be said that both the presence and the absence of “hiccup” are variants of the norm.

Third trimester

In the third trimester of pregnancy, the fetus rotates and turns freely in the uterus, and by the 30th - 32nd week it occupies a permanent position in the womb - in most cases it is the location of the fetus head down (the so-called head presentation of the fetus). When the baby is standing with its legs or buttocks down, its presentation is called pelvic.

If the baby has a headache presentation, then the mother will feel his active movements in the upper half of the abdomen, if the pelvic, then the movements will be felt in the lower sections.

During the third trimester, a pregnant woman may notice that the baby has certain wakefulness and sleep cycles. Also, the future mother already knows what position she needs to accept for the greater convenience of the baby: in making an uncomfortable position for the child, her movements will be more turbulent and intense.

Closer to the time of birth more active movements are observed in the area of ​​the baby's limbs - often in the right hypochondrium. The shocks can be so strong that they can cause the mother to experience pain (especially when lying down - compression of the umbilical vein causes a shortage of blood flow to the baby and the development of hypoxia).

However, when bending forward, tremors become less powerful, which can be explained by an improvement in blood flow in such a position and the supply of more oxygen to the fetus.

Before the immediate moment of birth, fetal motor activity becomes less. This can be explained by the large size of the fetus by the end of pregnancy and a smaller amount of space for performing “active” movements.

However, some future moms, on the contrary, may experience an increase in the motor activity of the fetus, which can be explained by a more “violent reaction” of the baby in response to the restriction of free space for movements.

Normal fetal movement rate

Motor activity of the fetus can serve as a kind of "sensor" of pregnancy. For example, depending on the intensity and frequency of perturbations, it is possible to determine whether the pregnancy is progressing well or not.

Before the 26th week of pregnancy, due to the small size of the fetus, a woman most often marks long periods between movements of episodes; the average duration can last up to a day. This is due not so much to the reduced motor activity of the baby as to her weakness, as well as the mother’s lack of skill and experience in recognizing the movements of her child due to the short period.

Starting from the 26th to 28th weeks of pregnancy, the average rate of fetal movement has been accepted frequency 10 times for 2 - 3 hours.

Obstetricians - gynecologists developed a special calendar for recording the frequency of fetal movements. During the day, a woman should count the number of movements of her baby with a constant fixation of the time of every tenth movement.

When the child "subsides", the woman should relax, take a comfortable position, you can eat something (it was noticed that food intake is a kind of "stimulator" of the fetal movement activity). For 2 hours it is necessary to monitor the frequency of movements of the baby: if it is 7 to 10 times, there is no reason for excitement. If the movements are still absent, then you need to slowly walk, you can go down and climb the stairs, then lie down. If even after this the fetus does not become active and the movements do not resume, then within the next 2–3 hours it is necessary to consult a doctor.

A doctor should also be consulted if the pregnant woman has noticed a lower physical activity of the child in the last days. This may be an unfavorable prognostic sign of fetal development.

By the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy, women in most cases know the nature and frequency of perturbations quite well. Stormy and too active movement, evenly, as well as a decrease in motor activity in comparison with previous movements, is an alarming sign for most women.

However, very often, an increase in the motor activity of a baby is not a sign of pathology, but of the uncomfortable position of the future mother, which impedes the flow of blood, and with it oxygen, to the fetus. That is, in the position of a woman sitting, strongly deviating posteriorly, or lying on her back, the pregnant uterus squeezes the blood vessels that provide blood flow to the placenta and uterus. The kid, feeling the lack of oxygen, begins to move in a more active mode. After a change in body position, for example, after tilting forward, the fetus will move with normal activity, as blood flow will be restored.

Cause for concern

The main cause for concern is the decrease / disappearance of the child's motor activity in comparison with the previous indicators.

This is in favor of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) of the fetus. In the absence of movement during the last 6 hours, you must immediately contact the obstetrician-gynecologist either at the outpatient admission, or in the absence of such an opportunity - by calling the ambulance team.

During the examination, the physician must first obstetric stethoscope listen to the fetal heart rate: the rate per minute ranges from 120 to 160 beats.

After the usual auscultation, even if the fetal heart rate is within the normal range, a procedure such as CTG - Fetal Cardiotocography. This method allows to assess the fetal heart rate and, depending on this, its functional state in order to check the absence or presence of hypoxia in the baby.

The technique of the procedure itself is the attachment of a special sensor to the anterior abdominal wall, approximately at the projection of the fetal heart. This sensor is able to determine the curve reflecting the heartbeat of the fetus. Parallel to this, a pregnant woman with a special button fixes the time when she feels fetal movement: this is displayed on the heart rate chart of the fetus using special labels.

With a normal pregnancy, fetal movement and heart rate increase “synchronously” - due to the so-called “motor - cardiac reflex”, which appears after 30–32 weeks of gestation. Due to these physiological features, CTG for the period from 30 to 32 weeks of gestation is not sufficiently informative.

The average duration of CTG is about 30 minutes. In the absence of a recorded increase in heart rate during this period of time, arising in response to perturbations, the pregnant woman should engage in moderate physical activity, for example, walking around the room. After this is another entry.

In the absence of myocardial complexes, an appointment is scheduled. Doppler study. Its main goal is to measure the blood flow velocity in the umbilical cord vessels and to determine whether there is a presence or absence of hypoxia.

If during the examination signs of fetal hypoxia were found, the subsequent obstetric tactics depend on the severity of hypoxia.

In the case of insignificant and unexpressed signs of hypoxia, a pregnant woman is further monitored by a doctor, conducting cardiotographic and Doppler studies with an assessment of the results over time, including prescription of drugs that stimulate blood circulation and oxygen delivery to the fetus.

In the case of increasing symptoms of hypoxia, an immediate delivery is indicated, because today there is no adequate medical treatment aimed at eliminating hypoxia of the baby. Immediate delivery is performed by cesarean section, delivery is also possible through the birth canal, which depends on the general condition of the mother, comorbidity, readiness of the birth canal and the duration of pregnancy.

Thus, every expectant mother should listen to the frequency, strength and dynamics of fetal movement. If she has any doubts about the healthy state of the fetus, she should not be delayed on a visit to the doctor in order to prevent possible negative outcomes of pregnancy in a timely manner.

Characteristics of normal motor activity

Pre-natal active actions even before birth demonstrate the temperament and personality of the future baby. Therefore, they are differently felt by women - from barely noticeable perturbations to strong, sometimes painful shocks to the diaphragm, bladder, abdominal wall. By the end of pregnancy, fetal activity becomes more stable, sometimes the mother can even predict it (for example, she appears in the supine position or after staying in a stuffy room).

Individual features of motor function persist even after childbirth, and even in one-year-old children. They are mediated by genetic constitutional features.

External factors, such as the level of stress hormone cortisol in the maternal blood, also affect the child's activity. If a woman is anxious, nervous, she feels more active movements.

Both boys and girls move in the womb with roughly equal intensity. In boys, the movements of the legs predominate, in girls - with hands and mouth.

A woman at the first movements feels weak internal sensations. This usually occurs at gestational age 19-21 weeks. At the same time, feelings are different: someone describes a waving fish, a butterfly fluttering, someone - a rolling wave. In any case, these feelings are painless and do not cause discomfort.

With repeated pregnancies, the uterine walls are more sensitive than during the first gestation. Such pregnant women can feel the stirring already at 15 weeks. On the other hand, with excess weight, this period is delayed by the 25th week.

If the child does not begin to move actively for a long time, this may be caused by the not entirely accurate determination of the period of gestation. All doubts in this case will help to resolve the ultrasound.

1 term

During the first 3 months, the embryo develops rapidly. It is surrounded by amniotic fluid and membranes, protected by the walls of the uterus. Therefore, its movement is not felt. However, during the ultrasound at 8-12 weeks, you can see how the limbs of the embryo move chaotically. This is explained by the fact that the nervous system is already mature enough to generate signals to the muscles. From week 10, a swallowing reflex is formed. By week 17, the child begins to react by stirring to strong sounds. Closer to the 19th week, active actions appear with the hands - the child touches the umbilical cord, compresses and unclenches the cams, touches the face, can suck a finger.

2 term

At this time, the future baby grows, and his limbs become similar to the arms and legs of an adult. During the 14-15 week gestation period, motor activity becomes more intense. The embryo can move freely in the amniotic fluid, starting from the uterine walls. However, due to its small size, the expectant mother initially does not feel any sensations.

At the 18th week, the baby reaches such a size that its movements can already be felt. The child still does not occupy a permanent place in the uterus, so his shocks can be felt in different parts of the abdomen. In this case, the baby can “knock” with his feet or hands, pull the umbilical cord, turn his head. When turning it, there is quite intense discomfort. At the same time, it is noticeable that the belly of a pregnant woman changes its shape a little.

At this time, the child is characterized by movement of the head, drooping, tilting. This indicates the active development of the vestibular apparatus and the motor areas of the brain. The baby turns around its axis and quite often changes its position in the uterus.

At 20 weeks, he constantly moves, making up to 200 perturbations per day, which are not always felt. Actions with legs and torso are felt in 100% of cases, separate “kicks” - in 56%, and movements of the handles are felt only if the child’s legs move at the same time. On average, about 85% of all motor actions of a child are felt. In many cases, there are icotus-like sensations - rhythmic pushes in the stomach. This is completely normal. It is connected with the fact that the future baby has a relatively large liver. It puts pressure on its diaphragm, where the vagus nerve passes. His irritation causes the child to hiccups, not dangerous for development. Such hiccups can persist after birth, about six months.

Is it necessary to consider the stirring of a developing baby in the second trimester?

No, it is not necessary to fix attention on this until 26 weeks.

3 term

At the beginning of this period, the future baby turns over intensively, taking comfortable postures for him. At week 31, he usually takes a permanent position that does not change before birth, most often upside down with bent legs. Это правильная позиция. При этом его двигательные действия более сильно чувствуются в верхней части живота матери. Если он расположен ножками или ягодицами вниз, то и шевеления его будут более заметны внизу.

В 35 недель и позднее двигательная деятельность усиливается и может причинять дискомфорт. The amount of movement reaches 600 during the day. Shortly before the onset of labor, the movement of the fetus weakens, since it no longer has enough space in the uterus for strong shocks.

Ultrasound readings

Objectively assess the embryo's motor activity during the first months of gestation is possible only by ultrasound. In the first weeks there are random movements, gradually becoming more accurate and well formed. The activity of the internal organs is also isolated without moving in the amniotic membranes (visceral), or with a change in the position of the limbs or the entire body (neuromuscular).

What will tell the doctor the first ultrasound during pregnancy, read in a separate article.

Indiscriminate activity is noticeable from 8 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. From 8th to 12th week, you can see special “worm-like” movements, and later up to 22nd week, scissors-like movements of the arms and legs appear.

Visceral activity, or movement of the rudimentary internal organs, on ultrasound is visible from the 1st trimester. At the 6-week embryo, the work of the rudiment of the heart is recorded. With 14 weeks visible reductions in the stomach, and depending on the amniotic fluid ingested inside, a change in its volume is noticeable.

Sucking action appears, starting at 16 weeks. According to the ultrasound, you can see a periodic decrease in the volume of the bladder associated with urination.

The timing of the appearance of various movements:

How to independently determine the movement of the fetus

From the 28th week of pregnancy, the doctor may recommend to the expectant mother to calculate the movements of the developing baby. You need to keep records every day. This is necessary to obtain complete information about the child's motor activity and to assess its condition.

To properly fill such a table, you need to understand what is meant by a single movement. This is not a separate push, but a complex of movements. For example, if a child pushes the abdominal wall once, then rolls over and continues to move, it counts as one movement.

There are various methods for determining the motor activity of the fetus.

Pearson Method

This is the most common way. Movement should be monitored, starting at 9 am. After the child has moved 10 times, note the time in the table and by the end of the day no longer monitor his activity. The next morning, counting is done again.

This method does not include the registration of each movement, their total number or duration. If the pregnant woman felt 10 movements, it means that the baby is all right. The Pearson method assumes that the required number of movements must be completed before 9 o'clock in the evening.

Cardiff method

This method is also based on the “up to 10” principle. However, it involves taking into account the individual characteristics and rhythms of the child. Some of them are awake at night and rest during the day. Cardiff method is not tied to the exact time of the beginning of calculations. A pregnant woman notes in the table the time of the first movement for the day and makes sure that during the next 12 hours at least 10 movements were performed. The time of the 10th is also noted in the table.

Sadowski Method

The method is very simple: after each meal you need to take into account the movements of the future baby. Within 2 hours after any meal, he must show physical activity at least 4 times. A more accurate modification of this method is counting the number of perturbations during the first hour after dinner, for example, from 19 to 20 hours, and normally it is more than 10. If this number is less, you must continue to count the number of movements for another hour. If it is over 10 in 2 hours, it means that the child is developing normally.

In the evening, physical activity usually increases. If it is distributed evenly throughout the day, this may be a sign of oxygen starvation.

Why do I need to determine the motor activity

One of the most dangerous conditions for a child is hypoxia. This is an oxygen deprivation due to impaired normal blood flow through the placenta. With prolonged hypoxia, the nervous or cardiovascular systems of a developing child suffer. Further mental and physical development may suffer. In order to notice signs of hypoxia in time, from the 28th week it is recommended to regularly determine the movements of the developing baby.

In the 3rd trimester, the woman already knows how her baby usually moves. Any changes in its activity are well marked. If a pregnant woman doesn’t feel a stir for several hours in the morning, she needs to do some light exercise or climb 1-2 floors up the stairs, and then lie on your left side and relax. Instead of physical activity, you can eat candy or drink a glass of milk. Usually, after this, the movements of the future baby appear.

If this method did not help, you should immediately consult a doctor.

Motor activity of the fetus before childbirth

Immediately before childbirth, the nature of the motor activity of the fetus changes. The baby moves less often, but stronger, due to its willingness to be born and the limited space of the membranes. At this time, there is almost every movement. At the end of pregnancy, the head of the fetus begins to descend to the entrance to the small pelvis, and its body moves down. A woman in this period notes a marked relief of breathing.

Roll over, that is, to change the presentation, during this period the fetus can no longer.

The greatest activity of fetal movements is noted at 37 weeks, but at the 38th week it decreases markedly. This refers to a pregnancy that will last 40 weeks. In case of premature delivery or prolonged gestation, a decrease in motor activity 7–10 days before delivery is an important sign of their early onset. At this time, it is already worth preparing for the trip to the maternity hospital, gathering the necessary things, making preparations for receiving the newborn at home.

After reducing the degree of movement should not go on long trips or be left alone, since childbirth can begin within a week.

As in earlier periods, it is necessary to determine the number of perturbations daily. Too much activity or, on the contrary, reducing it to 3 times a day is a reason to immediately consult a doctor.

At 38-39 weeks of pregnancy, a woman should feel about 10 moderate fetal movements in 6 hours or at least 24 perturbations in 12 hours. On average, the child moves 1-2 times within an hour, however, the counting period should be longer, since the baby already has periods of sleep and wakefulness.

Biophysical profile of the fetus

The leading value is the assessment of fetal motor activity before delivery, when the patient is already hospitalized. Indicators of movements are included in the so-called biophysical profile of the fetus. For its definition, safe non-invasive techniques are used:

  • cardiotocography (recording of the heartbeat),
  • Ultrasound of the fetus.

Cardiotocography - recording of electrical potentials of the heart and its movements. To carry it out, special sensors are attached to the anterior abdominal wall of the mother, as close as possible to the back of the fetus. A button is attached to the device, by pressing which the woman marks the movement. After each movement, the rhythm of the baby's heartbeat increases.

During cardiotocography, a non-stress test of motor activity is performed. It includes counting the heartbeat after spontaneous movements of the child. The remaining data for the preparation of the biophysical profile is obtained by ultrasound. All of them are expressed in points and summarized.

Conducting fetal cardiotocography

A non-stress CTG test is performed in the following way: in 20 minutes the number of fetal movements, the increase in its heartbeat and the duration of this increase are calculated. A good test result (2 points) - 5 or more movements with a faster heartbeat of 15 beats per minute or more, a duration of at least 15 seconds. This is a satisfactory physical activity.

1 point is awarded if the movements are marked from 2 to 4, 0 points - 1 or less.

On ultrasound determine:

  • major fetal movements in half an hour: 3 or more (2 points), 1-2 (1 point), absent (0 points),
  • respiratory movements in half an hour: at least one lasting more than a minute (2 points), at least one lasting 30-60 seconds (1 point), no (0 points),
  • muscle tone - the return of the limbs from the unbent to the bent position: 2 or more episodes - 2 points, 1 episode - 1 point, no - 0 points,
  • amniotic fluid: one vertical free section of water larger than 2 cm (2 points), 2 sections of 1-2 cm (1 point), amniotic fluid less than 1 cm (0 points),
  • maturity of the placenta: corresponds to the duration of pregnancy (2 points), III degree of maturity at 37 weeks (0 points).

After summing up all points, determine the biophysical profile of the fetus:

  • 8-12: normal fetal movement,
  • 6-7: possible pathology of the fetus,
  • 4-5 or less: severe hypoxia, high risk of complications.

With a good non-stress CTG test, a long-term ultrasound observation may not be performed, since this result is one of the most sensitive in assessing the motor activity and condition of the child. Ultrasound is often prescribed only if low activity is detected according to CTG. In addition, ultrasound and Doppler ultrasound are used to assess the condition of the fetus with a gestational period of up to 32 weeks, since at this time the CTG is still not sufficiently informative.

Deviations from the norm

The movements of the child during the prenatal period may vary in strength, duration, frequency, and other characteristics. Such changes can be a signal of trouble during pregnancy.

If fetal motor activity is reduced, the cause may be:

  • baby's sleep, rest period,
  • finding the mother near a source of loud noise or vibration,
  • long walking, having the effect of motion sickness,
  • polyhydramnios

If the fetal movements are absent for 3 - 4 hours, this is the norm. Pathological changes are usually accompanied by a sudden cessation of fetal movements within 6 to 12 hours or more. This indicates a sudden severe hypoxia, that is, oxygen starvation of the child. The cause of this condition can be dangerous complications - premature detachment of the placenta, fetal death.

Increased motor activity may occur for the following reasons:

  1. The fixed position of the mother when there is no “lulling” effect of the movements.
  2. Too much physical activity of the woman, resulting in insufficient blood supply to the fetus.
  3. Starving the mother and, conversely, increasing the level of glucose in the blood, in particular, after eating, excessive nutrition of the pregnant woman.
  4. Temporary clamping of the umbilical cord, which leads to a lack of oxygen, the child will move until the umbilical cord vessels are laid out.
  5. Malovodie.
  6. Reduced oxygen content in the ambient air, a woman stays in a stuffy room, passive or active smoking.
  7. Painful and chaotic strong shocks, different from those that were before, may be precursors of preterm labor.

In most cases, the increase in motor activity is not dangerous and with the elimination of external adverse factors passes. It is necessary to consult a doctor if the number of perturbations decreases within a few days, and if they are absent within 12 hours, urgent medical care may be required.

I am pregnant! What changes occur in my body? About this in our previous review of the link.

First movement of the fetus

The first movements of the woman are not aware of the manifestations of the child’s activity; it may seem to them that this is just the intestinal rumbling or itching of the stomach. The child begins to move in the seventh week of intrauterine development, but at this time it is so small that it is impossible to sense its movements. Most often, the first movements can be seen at about 20 weeks gestation.

If the woman has the first pregnancy, then this sometimes happens at the week 22-24, and if the second or any subsequent, then the perturbations are felt already from 17-18 weeks. Perhaps this is due to the fact that experienced mothers more clearly listen to themselves and already know what signs to pay attention to. This phenomenon is explained by the fact that the uterus of the multiparous woman is more sensitive in itself.

Also, the term of the first tangible movement of the child depends on the build of the future mother, since full women, due to the weaknesses of their figure, can determine only quite tangible movements of the baby, and this is characteristic of 22-25 weeks of pregnancy.

If a woman is expecting her first child, then she may simply not know what sensations to wait for and what testifies to the normal development of pregnancy or some kind of deviations. At first, the movements of the baby are a little like kicks or punches, which are customarily spoken of, since there it is still quite spacious and there is a lot of space where you can move freely. That is why if a woman feels that she has something wrong, that it is better to see a doctor, but her stomach continues to grow, but there is no cause for concern.

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Sometimes it happens that the delay with “perturbations” can be associated with incorrect definition of the terms of pregnancy. In this case, you can consult to contact several specialists and undergo ultrasound. If a mother leads an active lifestyle, then she may also not notice the movements of the fetus, since she simply has no time to pay attention to the “light strokes” from the inside.

Fetal movement activity

The peak of baby activity in prenatal development will be approximately at the beginning of the third trimester. At this time, the child has grown up enough so that the mother can feel him well, but he still doesn’t have any particular constraints inside the abdomen.

Experts even developed a special calendar in which future mothers should mark periods of activity and rest of their child. These data allow us to assess the condition of the baby in the intrauterine life and sometimes even prevent the development of certain pathologies.

Indicators of motor activity of the fetus - the norm and deviations

During the day, the wakefulness of the fetus inside the mother is replaced by periods of sleep - accordingly, the physical activity varies, which is why gynecologists, who monitor the development of pregnancy, recommend to take into account the physical activity of the baby for a sufficiently long period of time.

The number of movements also directly depends on the gestational age - at the end of the first half, at 18-20 weeks of gestation, the first movements felt by the expectant mother are limited to 200 movements in 24 hours, whereas by the beginning of maternity leave (30-32 weeks) the amount of movements increases up to 600.

As the term of labor approaches, the child occupies an increasing part of the uterus, and physical activity even during normal pregnancy decreases - at this time, instrumental techniques can be used to assess the condition of the fetus (cardiotocography, ultrasound of the fetus, dopplerography).

There are factors whose influence can enhance fetal movement. These include:

  • time of day - the baby is more active in the evening and at night, which in some cases prevents the expectant mother from resting normally,
  • the state of a woman - severe stress (psychological) stimulates physical activity, whereas the physical stress of a woman acts on the child soothing (the baby is more active while the mother is relaxing),
  • food intake - with a decrease in serum glucose concentration (light hunger in matter), movements are intensified. The same effect has a rapid increase in the concentration of glucose after eating sweets,
  • sounds of the outside world - they can enhance or slow down motor activity,
  • long stay of the mother in an uncomfortable position.

During an hour, a woman usually feels 10-15 pushes of a child during wakefulness; doctors consider the absence of fetal movements for 3-4 hours in a row (during sleep) to be normal indicators.

How to count the number of fetal movements

In assessing the motor activity of the fetus, taking into account the excessively violent jolts of the child, and weak rare movements, both of these symptoms may indicate the development of acute and chronic oxygen starvation. These conditions require the mandatory attention of a physician, and the successful outcome of pregnancy may depend on the timeliness of treatment.

In addition, the slowing of movements may indicate polyhydramnios, and the feeling of pain that accompanies the baby’s tremors becomes the first manifestation of low water.

Today in medical practice the following methods are used to assess the activity of fetal movements:

  • Pearson method - a pregnant woman should count the pushes and movements of the child for 12 hours in a row at rest. Initially, the time of the beginning of observation (the first movement of the fetus) is marked on the scale, and then the expectant mother should count the number of movements, and mark the time of the 10 movement on the chart. A normal indicator is considered such a result when less than 60 minutes pass between the first and tenth fetal movements. Если временной интервал больше, то врачи советуют женщине использовать любой метод, способствующий стимуляции двигательной активности плода. В том случае, когда ни один из этих методов не дает ожидаемого результата, необходимо углубленное обследование беременной.
  • Метод Кардиффа оценивает движения плода в течение 12 часов подряд, но время исследования женщина может выбрать самостоятельно. На графике (в таблице) отметается время начала подсчета, а также время каждого 10 движения плода. If a woman marks more than 10 movements on the chart for the entire observation period (12 hours), then the fetal motor activity is considered normal. If the expectant mother does not register 10 movements of the fetus during the observation period, an immediate consultation of the gynecologist and an in-depth examination are necessary.
  • The Sadowski method evaluates fetal movements after the expectant mother’s dinner - at rest and with an increase in glucose concentration in the norm, the physical activity increases. It is usually advised to choose from observation time from 19 to 23 hours. If in any hour of this time period the fetus makes 10 movements, then further observation is stopped. In the case when a woman registers less than 10 movements of the fetus in two hours, it is necessary to immediately conduct additional instrumental examinations (tocography, ultrasound, Doppler measurement).

When consultation of the doctor and inspection are necessary immediately

Before using any of the methods for assessing fetal motor activity, the gynecologist prescribing such a test should tell the woman what signs she should pay attention to and if any symptoms occur you should immediately seek help from the clinic’s medical staff (call an ambulance ). These features include:

  • a clear change in the mode of fetal movement,
  • complete absence of fetal movements, felt by a woman, for 6 hours in a row.

These signs indicate the development and progression of fetal hypoxia - only timely medical intervention can correct the situation and save the child.
During the examination, the doctor will conduct auscultation of the fetal heartbeat using an obstetric stethoscope (normal heart rate - 130-160 beats per minute).

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In addition, a cardiotochographic study will be performed in the in-patient setting - simultaneous registration of fetal heart rate, motor activity and uterine tone remains one of the most reliable methods for detecting hypoxia.

Ways to stimulate the baby to stir

Many mothers are afraid of situations when at first the baby is very active, and then it is silent for a long time. Doctors advise in this case to calm your own nerves to stimulate the baby. To ensure the desired effect, you can drink a glass of milk or something to eat, and then go to rest. Usually, the arrival of a new food in the mother's body makes the baby move actively, especially if the mother has eaten too much and the food is now pressing on the child.

However, you should not rely only on yourself. If periods of calm are repeated quite often, or, conversely, the child is too active, then you should inform your doctor about this, as this may indicate a risk of hypoxia and your own umbilical cord strangling. Gynecologists consider it a normal occurrence to reduce the activity of a child before birth, as he prepares for birth.


  • Motor activity in the fetus appears quite early (at 7-8 weeks of pregnancy).
  • From 10-11 weeks movements become more conscious, the child has a swallowing reflex. At this time, the fetus has still very small dimensions, during movement it practically does not touch the walls of the uterus, therefore, a woman cannot feel movement at such a time.
  • NearerBy week 17, the fetus develops a motor reaction to external stimuli (loud sound, bright light).
  • In the 18-19 weeks the child begins conscious movements with his hands: he touches his face, goes through the umbilical cord, squeezes and unclenches his fingers.

First fetal movements

It is believed that the first movements of the child during the first pregnancy a woman begins to feel with 20 weeks, during the second and subsequent pregnancies - with 18 weeks. However, this is the average data, in fact, everything depends on the individual sensitivity of the woman and other factors. For example, slender women, leading an active lifestyle, begin to feel the movements of the child in earlier periods.

additionallyThus, the first movements of the child, felt by the mother, may appear in the period from 16 to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

The first movements of the fetus, as a rule, are very weak and rare. It is quite difficult to describe the sensations of perturbations: someone compares them to & gurgling &; they remind someone of a slight stroking or tickling. Closer to 24 weeks of movement become more distinct, it is more and more like the jolts, and they can be felt by people around, putting a hand to the stomach.

The rate of motor activity of the fetus

The fruit is in constant motion, except during periods of sleep. So, it was estimated that at 20 weeks the child performs up to 200 movements during the day, at 26-32 weeks the number of movements increases to 600, then the motor activity begins to decrease, which is associated with an increase in the size of the fetus. Naturally, a woman does not feel most of these movements.

The motor activity of a child depends on many factors.:

  1. Times of Day (usually, the fetus is more active in the evening and at night),
  2. The psychological state of women. In stressful situations, in a state of fear of the mother, the child may lie low or, on the contrary, begin to move very actively,
  3. Physical exercise. The most frequent and strong movements of the fetus become in a state of rest of the mother,
  4. Woman nutrition. When the mother feels hungry, the child begins to move more actively, and the movements also become stronger and more distinct after eating food, especially sweet,
  5. Ambient sounds. The child reacts to loud, harsh sounds with increased movements, in some cases, on the contrary, it can subside,
  6. Inconvenient long posture mother (as a rule, the fetus reacts to it with increased and painful movements).

informationOn average, during the wake period of a child, a woman can feel up to 10-15 shots per hour. Normally, the movements may be completely absent for 3-4 hours, during this period the child is sleeping.

Methods of counting fetal movements

Wiggling baby - This is a kind of indicator of his well-being. Too turbulent, painful or, on the contrary, rare weak movements can be a bad prognostic sign and indicate the development of acute or chronic hypoxia of the fetus. Changes in perturbation can also occur when the amniotic fluid volume is disturbed: during low-water movement, the movements become stronger and more painful, and in case of polyhydramnios, on the contrary, the motor activity of the fetus becomes less noticeable.

At the moment there are several methods for determining the motor activity of the fetus.:

Comments (4)

The movements of the baby are touching and at the same time disturbing moments. I remember how during pregnancy I felt convulsively how much perturbation would be in a day and was going through all the time. By the way, in spite of the first pregnancy, distinct movements were already at week 17. By the end of pregnancy, the stirring became so familiar that I began to miss them after giving birth. But my child’s sister very rarely moved, nothing healthy and calm was born.

When I was pregnant, for the first time I felt my little daughter's shlyuchushki already at 16 weeks. True, I am very thin, I think for this reason I felt these very long-awaited shocks of the baby so early. And so it seems to me that everything is individual. My girl was very brisk, actively kicking in her tummy and now when she was born and grew up I can say that the character is still taking shape already in Mommy’s stomach. Our girl is a super active child.

I felt the first movements of my son at the 20th week of pregnancy. I know that many people feel them before, but this was my first pregnancy and at first I didn’t know how to determine: this movement or just something in my stomach gurgled. And on the 28th or 29th week they gave me a table in which I had to make a mark when the baby made 10 movements. From the article I have already concluded that I did the calculations using the Pearson method. It would be nice to meet this article even during pregnancy.

The first time my llyak moved at 15 weeks, I was very scared because I was told that this could not be, I was even taken to the ambulance with a diagnosis - hypertonus of the uterus. In the hospital, she passed the tests and received an ultrasound scan, and it turned out that the baby is developing very quickly and everything is in order. I myself am very active and fragile, and the darling lalyusika is large and physically healthy. It is now 21 weeks now, my boy is constantly moving and moving and turning so that his stomach is walking and this is more than good. All future moms successful birth!