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  • How To Monitor Your Baby's Movements (And What You Can Do If Baby Isn't Moving Much)

    If it's too early in the pregnancy to feel your baby kick, should you get a fetal doppler?
    by Rachel Perez .
How To Monitor Your Baby's Movements (And What You Can Do If Baby Isn't Moving Much)
PHOTO BY iStock
  • If you’re pregnant during a pandemic, you’re probably seeing your doctor less than usual. That’s okay. Instead of going out, doctors do telehealth consultations instead.

    One of the things your doctor will ask you about during your telehealth consultations is about your baby’s movement in your womb. But your doctor will only require you to report this if you’re more than six months pregnant. 

    What other parents are reading

    In Smart Parenting’s How Po Series Episode 2, entitled The New Normal In Pregnancy And Childbirth (Part 1)Dr. Maynila Domingo, obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in maternal-fetal medicine at ManilaMed in Manila City, explains why.

    “Kung less than six months pa yung tiyan mo, pwedeng hindi mo pa siya nararamdaman,” she says. “Ang nararamdaman mo lang wave or parang pitik. That’s normal,” Dr. Domingo adds. 

    Fetal doppler vs. fetal kick monitoring

    Since a woman who’s less than six months pregnant can’t count kick yet, many preggos ask: Is getting a doppler to monitor baby’s heartbeat is a good buy?

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    “There’s no harm in using doppler, but we do not generally recommend that,” Dr. Manila stresses. “Because it can sometimes give you a false sense of security,” she says. 

    Dr. Domingo explains that fetal dopplers pick up sound waves, but doctors don’t use it to hear your baby’s heartbeat while on the womb. They use dopplers to interpret the pattern of the baby’s heartbeat if it sounds distressed or weak. Moms at home can’t exactly do that.

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    “Minsan kapag mali yung gamit mo ng doppler, may mapi-pick up ka na sounds,” Dr. Domingo cautions. If you’re not familiar with how the fetal or uterine heart sounds like, you may think your baby is doing fine even if he’s not moving. 

    “Kaya ako, I advise movement more than the doppler kasi yun yung clue mo na okay yung bata,” Dr. Domingo stressed.  

    What other parents are reading

    What is the normal fetal kick count and what you can do to check the baby’s movement in the womb

    “Beyond the 24 weeks, beyond six months, talagang every hour, may sipa yang bata,” Dr. Domingo reveals. “I tell them to count the kicks. Dapat 10 kicks in an hour,” she says. 

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    What can you do if your baby is not that active? Dr. Domingo says, you don’t panic right away. Ask yourself:

    1. Am I hungry? Babies tend to move when after you’ve eaten.
    2. Am I dehydrated? Drink water. If you’re dehydrated, there may be less blood flow to your baby.
    3. Did my blood sugar spike up? “If there is a sudden elevation of the blood sugar, the baby can have less movement and very detrimental yun,” Dr. Domingo says. Your doctor should tell you if you need to monitor your blood sugar at home. Even so, this is why having a good pregnancy diet is crucial to your baby’s health.
    4. What position am I in? If you’re lying down, change positions and lie down on your left or right. “Baka naiipit ng malaki mong matres yung malaki ugat coming away from the heart to distribute blood to the organs. Kapag ganun, mejo konti yung oxygen,” Dr. Domingo explained. 

    If your baby becomes active when you turn to eat, drink water, or turn to your side, that’s good. (Click here for more ways to encourage your baby to move in your tummy.) But you still have to report it to your OB on your next telehealth visit, so she can advise you on what you can do to prevent it from happening again. 

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    If your baby is overly active, say, he or she is kicking you more than ten times in an hour, that’s fine, too. “Ang maganda don, aware ka sa baseline ng baby mo so if there is a decrease in movement, you report that immediately. You do not wait that there’s no detectable movement,” Dr. Domingo stresses. 

    Watch the full How Po episode below:

    Get exclusive access to Smart Parenting’s online webinars, expert talks, and live events! Sign up here to become part of our community and be the first to know about Smart Parenting Events.

    What other parents are reading

    One of the things your doctor will ask you about during your telehealth consultations is about your baby's movement in your womb. But your doctor will only require you to report this if you're more than six months pregnant. 

    What other parents are reading

    In Smart Parenting's How Po Series Episode 2, entitled The New Normal In Pregnancy And Childbirth (Part 1), Dr. Maynila Domingo, obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in maternal-fetal medicine at ManilaMed in Manila City, explains why.

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    "Kung less than six months pa yung tiyan mo, pwedeng hindi mo pa siya nararamdaman," she says. "Ang nararamdaman mo lang wave or parang pitik. That's normal," Dr. Domingo adds. 

    Fetal doppler vs. fetal kick monitoring

    Since a woman who's less than six months pregnant can't count kick yet, many preggos ask: Is getting a doppler to monitor baby's heartbeat is a good buy?

    "There's no harm in using doppler, but we do not generally recommend that," Dr. Manila stresses. "Because it can sometimes give you a false sense of security," she says. 

    Dr. Domingo explains that fetal dopplers pick up sound waves, but doctors don't use it to hear your baby's heartbeat while on the womb. They use dopplers to interpret the pattern of the baby's heartbeat if it sounds distressed or weak. Moms at home can't exactly do that.

    "Minsan kapag mali yung gamit mo ng doppler, may mapi-pick up ka na sounds," Dr. Domingo cautions. If you're not familiar with how the fetal or uterine heart sounds like, you may think your baby is doing fine even if he's not moving. 

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    "Kaya ako, I advise movement more than the doppler kasi yun yung clue mo na okay yung bata," Dr. Domingo stressed.  

    What other parents are reading

    What is the normal fetal kick count and what you can do to check baby's movement in the womb

    "Beyond the 24 weeks, beyond six months, talagang every hour, may sipa yang bata," Dr. Domingo reveals. "I tell them to count the kicks. Dapat 10 kicks in an hour," she says. 

    What can you do if your baby is not that active? Dr. Domingo says don't panic righ away. Ask yourself:

    1. Am I hungry? Babies tend to move when after you've eaten.
    2. Am I dehydrated? Drink water. If you're dehydrated, there may be less blood flow to your baby.
    3. Did my blood sugar spike up? "If there is a sudden elevation of the blood sugar, the baby can have less movement and very detrimental yun," Dr. Domingo says. Your doctor should tell you if you need to monitor your blood sugar at home. Even so, this is why having a good pregnancy diet is crucial to your baby's health.
    4. What position am I in? If you're lying down, change positions and lie down on your left or right. "Baka naiipit ng malaki mong matres yung malaki ugat coming away from the heart to distribute blood to the organs. Kapag ganun, mejo konti yung oxygen," Dr. Domingo explained. 
    If your baby becomes active when you turn to eat, drink water, or turn to your side, that's good. (Click here for more ways to encourage your baby to move in yout tummy.) But you still have to report it to your OB on your next telehealth visit, so she can advise you on what you can do to prevent it from happening again. 

    If your baby is overly active, say, he or she is kicking you more than ten times in an hour, that's fine, too. "Ang maganda don, aware ka sa baseline ng baby mo so if there is a decrease in movement, you report that immediately. You do not wait that there's no detectable movement," Dr. Domingo stresses. 

    ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW

    Get exclusive access to Smart Parenting’s online webinars, expert talks, and live events! Sign up here to become part of our community and be the first to know about Smart Parenting Events.

    What other parents are reading

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