Reduced baby movements after the 24th week of pregnancy

Feeling your baby move is a sign that they are well. Most women usually begin to feel their baby move between 16 and 24 weeks of pregnancy. A baby's movement can be described as anything from a kick, flutter, swish or roll. The type of movement may change as your pregnancy progresses. From 24 weeks to 32 weeks these movements become more frequent and from 32 weeks you should notice that your baby has developed a regular pattern which then stays roughly the same until you give birth. 

It’s important to recognise if your baby becomes less active or stops moving.

A reduction in a baby's movements can be an important warning sign that a baby is unwell. Do not wait for your next midwife appointment. Seek advice immediately via your local maternity unit. 

Midwives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and there is always a midwife available at night time.

For more information on local services please click here.


When should you get help?


  • If you are experiencing reduced or no baby movements at the same time as abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding

You need urgent help.

Contact your maternity unit immediately

  • If you are concerned your baby is moving less than normal. Baby movements are very individual to each pregnancy. There is not a specific number of movements you need to feel and only you know what is normal for your baby.

You need to contact your maternity unit straight away

You will need to be seen at the local maternity unit

If you have no red or amber signs

  • If your baby's movements feel normal, continue with routine antenatal care.
  • However sometimes it can be difficult to know if you baby is out of routine, particularly if you have been very active or busy. Take the time to focus on your baby's movements and do not hesitate to get in touch with your local maternity unit if you have any concerns. 

Contact your maternity unit if you are still concerned

This guidance has been reviewed and adapted by healthcare professionals across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin with consent from the Hampshire development groups.

Your local maternity unit is staffed 24 hours a day with obstetrician s and midwives to help care for you, your baby and your pregnancy related health concerns. For some AMBER concerns it may be possible to be seen in a midwifery led unit if it is more convenient for you. For health concerns that are not related to your pregnancy you are advised to see your GP, call NHS 111 out of hours, or attend A&E if it is an emergency.

To find the contact numbers for your local maternity unit, please click here.

  • Labour line (maternity advice line) - Many maternity units provide women with a central advice line often called “labour line”. You are advised to call this number if you think you might be in labour. The phone is answered by a midwife 24hours a day. They will ask you questions, assess you and give advice. When the time is right they will arrange for you to attend your preferred place of birth, or arrange a midwife to come to you if you are planning a homebirth.
  • Community Midwife- Your community midwife provides you with all routine maternity care from your first “booking in“ appointment in early pregnancy to discharging you to the care of the health visitors when your baby is 2 weeks old. She will give you information on keeping you and your baby healthy during pregnancy and refer you to specialists if required.

Whilst you may have individual contact details for your community midwife, if you are concerned about your pregnancy we advise you call the maternity unit on the numbers provided because staff are available 24 hours a day. Please do not leave urgent voicemails or text on a community midwife’s phone.

GPs assess, treat and manage a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, give vaccinations and can arrange referral to a hospital specialist should you need it. Whilst pregnant, you will have regular appointments with a midwife but it is still important to continue with any ongoing care from your GP.

NHS 111 can ask you questions to assess your symptoms, give you advice or can put you in touch with a GP out of usual working hours.

A&E departments provide vital care for life threatening emergencies, such as suspected heart attack or breathing difficulties. If you are not sure it’s an emergency, call 111 for advice.