Obstetrics FAQs

Is it normal to feel no fetal movement?

Fetal movement is usually noticed by 20 weeks. By 24-28 weeks, fetal movement should be noted almost hourly. At this point, it is abnormal to feel no movement. If no movement is noted, the most likely scenario is that you have not been paying close attention. If you are concerned, eat something or drink something sweet and lie on your left side and count movements. Any movement is reassuring. Four to five discrete movements in an hour is normal.

Remember, babies sleep 20 to 40 minutes per hour and there may be certain times of the day where they seem more or less active and there is really no such thing as a baby that moves too much. In the event that this observation has not satisfied you that your baby is doing well and you are 28 weeks or more, you are directed to labor and delivery for evaluation. If you are less than 28 weeks, we are hesitant to recommend coming to the hospital for evaluation especially in the absence of other extenuating circumstances because obstetric intervention for fetal indications before 28 weeks is quite rare. However, if there is any question, the heart tones can be checked either in the office or on labor and delivery.