Baby Not Moving as Much 39 Weeks

By your 39th week of pregnancy, you’re ready for this to be over and meet your new bundle of joy. Your nursery is all set up and ready, and your body is just plain exhausted. There are so many changes that your pregnant body is going through so much. One thing moms often become concerned about is your baby not moving as much 39 weeks into your pregnancy. This article will help you understand why this happens and when you should be concerned.

Is Reduced Fetal Movements at 39 Weeks Normal?

If you notice your baby not moving as much 39 weeks into your pregnancy, it may be getting close to time for delivery. In a normal healthy pregnancy, it is pretty normal to not feel as much movement as earlier in your pregnancy. If your baby’s movements slow down considerably or cease, then you should call your doctor right away.

How to Do "Kick Counts"?

To know what is a normal amount of movement, you need to start checking “kick counts” around the 28th week of your pregnancy or beginning of the third trimester. This can help prevent stillbirth and help you let your doctor know right away if your baby is in distress.

  1. Pick a time when your baby is awake. This often is after you eat or drink something sweet or in the evenings when you’re watching TV.
  2. Stop and take a break. Walking or activity may put your baby to sleep with the gentle rocking motion. Sit back against some pillows with your feet up and take a rest.
  3. Count for two hours. Set aside at least two hours, so find a good movie and start counting.
  4. Two hours = 10 kicks. Get a notepad and write down the time started. Then note every time your baby kicks. You will want to feel at least 10 kicks or movements in two hours. More active babies may even kick or move 10 times in less time than two hours. The test is over when you have felt 10 kicks.

Do your kick counts every day to get to know your baby's usual kick patterns. You can also sit down and do this anytime you feel like you haven't felt movement for a while and you feel like something may be wrong.

Why does It Happen?

In a healthy pregnancy with a healthy baby, you will notice the baby not moving as much 39 weeks into your pregnancy. This is because your baby weights close to 6 to 8 pounds and it’s pretty snug in there. Your baby is also starting to rest up for the big day and get ready to meet you.

If there are complications, it is possible that your baby is quieting down and trying to tell you something. It may not always be a problem with baby, but maybe something going on with your body. It can also signal that there is a problem with blood supply to the baby and they may not be getting enough oxygen or nutrients. While this is rare, it can happen and your doctor needs to know right away that you are noticing less movement from your baby.

What Should Moms Do?

Prior to any issues with your baby’s movement, you should already be doing regular “kick counts” every day after the 28th week of pregnancy. This way you will know if there truly is a different pattern and something going on.

If you notice your baby not moving as much 39 weeks into your pregnancy, sit down and do two hours of “kick counts.” If you get less than 10 kicks in two hours, call your doctor and let them know. They may have you change positions and drink a sweet drink to wake up your baby. If this doesn’t work, they may have you go to labor and delivery to get things checked out.

What Moms Say About This

“I apologize for the lengthy message, but expecting moms need to know this. At 39 weeks my baby’s movements became very subtle. I knew there was a change because he always kicked me so hard, my ribs were bruised. I went to my doctor’s appointment and told the doctor I was concerned. They hooked me up for a non-stress test and noticed the heart rate was dropping with my contractions. They sent me to the hospital and hooked me up to the monitors there and the doctor did a bedside ultrasound. My baby’s cord was wrapped around his neck so I had to be induced. It was a good thing I went to the doctor and got things checked, my baby boy was born healthy with no issues.” Sarah, mother of Brandon age 6 months

“My baby wasn’t moving very much today so I called the doctor. They had me come in for a non-stress test. There were no hiccups, no swipes across my belly, and no kicks all day at home. I haven’t been feeling well the past few days and been in bed more than usual. When we got to the doctors, the kicks started up and the heartbeat was fine too. The doctor let me know when moms aren’t feeling good, babies tend to be quieter. I felt so much better knowing everything was okay.” —Jill, mother of Kaydee due in July

“I am 39 weeks and 4 days pregnant. Up until today, my baby was a crazy kicker and all over the place. Today has just been a few weak slides across my belly, but nothing much. I tried calling my midwife and left a message. She called back and told me to have a cold soda and lay on my left side. Nothing. I called her back and she had me go into labor and delivery. They monitored me and weren’t getting much at all. After two hours, there were enough movements and the heart rate was stable so they sent me home. It was Friday, so they told me to come back over the weekend if the baby stayed quiet. I still had some weak movements, but the baby was still very quiet. On Sunday morning, my contractions started and I went back. My beautiful baby girl was born at 6 a.m. Monday morning. They told me the baby most likely quieted down because I was getting ready to go into labor.” Christine, mother of Monica age 3 weeks

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