Anyway, let me get to the actual story. For the last 2 days, I haven't been feeling my baby move as much. I don't know if it's because I wasn't paying any attention or it was the reality. I panicked. I did a fetal kick count and was able to count 10 kicks in less than one hour. I still wasn't convinced and decided to go to the hospital. After doing a fetal non-stress test, the doctor confirmed that everything was okay. And guess what? I can feel movements better now. Maybe I was just letting my imagination run wild.
So, when you feel your baby's not moving, what are you supposed to do?
1. Do a fetal kick count. After taking a nice meal, find a comfortable position and get a piece of paper. Note if you can count 10 fetal kicks within an hour or two. Every time you feel a kick, tally it. If you're able to get up to 10, there's probably nothing wrong. However, if you're not convinced like I was, go to the hospital. If you don't get up to 10 kicks in 2 hours, it's a good idea to go to the hospital.
2. The hospital would do a fetal non-stress test for you. This usually lasts between 20 and 30 minutes. During the test, 2 belts are attached to your tummy. One monitors your baby and the other measures contractions. The nurse will usually also instruct you to press on a button every time you feel fetal movement.
On the baby, they look out for the baby's movement, his heart rate and how the heart rate changes with movement. When the baby moves, the heart rate is meant to increase. This indicates that the baby is healthy. In my case, the baby wasn't moving because he was sleeping. The nurse used something called a 'buzzer' to wake him up. This made it possible to compare the baby's movement with his heart rate.
When the baby is confirmed healthy, the non-stress test is said to be reactive. On the other hand, a nonreactive non-stress test is defined when the heart rate doesn't change with movement. This can be due to inadequate oxygen supply to the baby. Further tests would be done to ascertain why.
Anyways, I'm thankful to God that all was well: I guess I was experiencing 'medical doctor's syndrome' or simply a mother's worry. I have to stop worrying and work on increasing my faith.
**So, why didn't I use a fetal monitor at home? A fetal monitor is very helpful to check your baby's heart rate. However, when you perceive reduced fetal movements, a doing fetal kick count is more reliable because it can point to distress while a fetal monitor cannot.**
Image from www.francisvachon.com