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Will the Baby Movements I Feel Slow Down Towards the End of My Pregnancy?

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Updated July 17, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Pregnant Woman With Hand On Belly.
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Question: Will the Baby Movements I Feel Slow Down Towards the End of My Pregnancy?
Answer: From the moment that you begin to feel your baby move, called quickening, you begin to wonder if what you're feeling is right. Does your baby move enough? Does your baby move too much? How often should you feel it? What should the movements feel like? Kicks? Flips? Squirms?

Towards the end of pregnancy, some mothers say that their babies don't move as much. This is typically not true and can be a dangerous assumption.

The quality of your baby's movements will differ. No longer can he or she flip around readily, the uterus has become more cramped as baby fills out in preparation for a healthy birth. Your baby settles in to a birth positions, 97% of the time that is head down or vertex. This leaves little room to move. So while your baby is still moving, you're feeling a different quality of the movements.

It is normal to go from feeling big movements to feeling more squirms, jabs and tickles. This is again, due to decreased space. To help you keep track of fetal movements, the fetal kick count helps. This enables you to report to your doctor or midwife if you notice that your baby truly isn't moving as much as he or she did before, this can be a problematic sign which might indicate the need for more testing, like a non-stress test (NST).

You and Your Baby. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. November 2007.

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