Excerpt from The Birth Center Client Manual
Daily recognition of fetal movements and the mother’s perception of fetal well-being from quickening (the mother’s first perception of life, usually 18 to 22 weeks) until delivery may be the best assurance that the baby is healthy as well as earliest warnings of danger, especially in normal pregnancies.
The first movements may seem fleeting, but most women recognize characteristic daily patterns. From 28 weeks until delivery, 10 movements in 2 hours are considered adequate. The midwife will inquire about the fetal movements at every prenatal visit and record the mother’s report. Every fetus has its own unique pattern and may be quite responsive to the maternal and external environment. Cold or hot drinks, food, noise, and left lateral positioning of the mother may all stimulate activity. If the mother is concerned about fetal movement she should perform a fetal kick count after eating and drinking. If she is concerned about baby’s well-being or does not feel 10 discrete movements in 2 hours, she should contact TBC or call the midwife on call right away.