About this service

Reporting reduced fetal movements

Under 24 weeks pregnant

Most people first become aware of their baby moving when they are 16 to 24 weeks pregnant.

If by 24 weeks you have never felt your baby move, you should contact your midwife, who will check your baby’s heartbeat.

An ultrasound scan may be arranged and you may be seen by a specialist to check your baby’s wellbeing if a problem is suspected.

24 to 26 weeks pregnant

You should contact maternity triage and they will see you the same day.

You will have a full check-up, which includes listening to your baby’s heartbeat.

From 26 weeks, we will measure the size of your bump.

An ultrasound scan may be arranged to check on your baby’s growth if required.

Over 26 weeks pregnant

You should contact maternity triage. You must not wait until the next day to seek help and you should be seen on the same day.

  • You will be asked about your baby’s movements
  • You will have an antenatal check‑up, including checking your baby’s heartbeat and measuring the size of your bump
  • Your baby’s heart rate will be monitored using a machine called a CTG

You may also have an ultrasound scan if:

  • your baby is smaller than expected
  • your pregnancy has other factors that are associated with a higher risk of stillbirth

An ultrasound scan is normally performed within 72 hours. You may be offered daily CTG’s until your scan appointment. These checks usually show that all is well. Most people who have one episode of reduction in their baby’s movements go on to have a healthy baby.

What if my baby’s movements become reduced again?

If, after your check up, you are still not happy with your baby’s movement, you must contact Maternity Triage straight away, even if everything was normal last time.

Never hesitate to contact maternity triage for advice, no matter how many times this happens. There are midwives on duty in the maternity unit 24 hours a day.

Do not use hand held monitors, Dopplers or phone apps to check your baby’s heartbeat.
Even if you detect a heartbeat, this does not mean your baby is well.


Call maternity triage 24 hours a day

Colchester: 01206 845 240
Ipswich: 01473 703 334


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