Waking Up Your Fetus!

Moms smile when their baby moves, and they should, that is a sign of good health! Moms also groan when the baby moves too much, then suddenly a bit extra kicking or movement and that's not always a comfortable feeling! Physicians ask their pregnant moms to be aware of all this movement and specifically check and track fetal movement regularly once you are feeling the fetal movement after the 4th month of pregnancy. A baby that is moving markedly less is worrisome. Babies that move markedly more than others are not likely to be abnormal in any way, and 'moving too much' not tracked very often.

When you are at term and go in for labor and they put a fetal monitor on your abdomen the best sign that your fetus is moving is the heart rate going up. In fact when you feel the baby move, the fetal heart rate should rise by at least 15 beats per minute extra and stay that way for at least 15 seconds. That acceleration of the heart rate should occur regularly within every 10 minute stretch of the baby's life. Sometimes when the baby is sleeping, there won't bee much movement.

When The baby isn't moving, the gynos want to know, do we just have to get the baby to wake up, or is there something wrong that there is a stretch when the fetal heart rate change is not responding normally.

Lots of safe ways can be used to wake up the baby. Usually just a poke on mom's tummy will nudge the baby to give you a bit of a love kick back. One  otherway to wake up the fetus is to put a noise on the mom's tummy. This can be done with a tool called an artificial larynx. The noise is put on the pregnant abdomen for a second or two, even up to three, and up to three times in a row, to try to wake the baby It usually works pretty instantly to wake up a developing fetus with the noise maker! Gently rubbing the baby's back through the abdomen or feeding the baby some sugar works too, but more slowly. Babies do not technically run out of room to move at all, so they should be able to move fairly vigorously the whole pregnancy although the types of movements do change and may go from a wide ranging kick to more of a rolling movement.

As with all recommendations in pregnancy, check with your prenatal care provider if you have any questions!


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