Baby Kick Counting
What is it, how to do it and why it's important
Baby Kick Counts (Fetal Kick Counts) is a simple fetal monitoring technique that you can use at home to help monitor the well-being of your baby. Baby kick counting is counting and recording fetal movements (which include kicks, turns, swishes, rolls, and jabs but not hiccups).
While all babies move at different times and in different amounts, most healthy babies will move quite frequently in the womb. Kick counting is a great way to notice any decrease in fetal movements. Significant changes in the fetal movement pattern may help identify potential problems with your pregnancy that may need further evaluation before your baby's heart rate is affected.
How to Kick Count
Choose a time of day when your baby tends to be active. This is usually after meals, after physical activity or in the evening. (Ideally, try to do the counts at approximately the same time each day.) Sit quietly or lie on your left side to avoid distractions. Time how long it takes for you to feel ten distinct movements - kicks, punches, and whole body movements all count (don't count hiccups). Your baby should move 10 times in less than 2 hours (120 minutes). Most babies will take less than 30 minutes.
When to Start Kick Counting?
You should begin counting your baby's movements daily around 28 weeks and continue until delivery. Your doctor or midwife may ask you to start daily kick counting at 24-26 weeks if you have a high risk pregnancy.
When to Contact Your Health Care Provider
If you have followed the above recommendations and have not felt 10 kicks by the end of the second hour, wake up the baby by drinking fluid or by walking for 5 minutes and try again. If after trying a second time, you do not feel 10 movements within 2 hours you should contact your health care provider immediately. Also contact your physician or midwife if you notice a significant deviation from your baby's normal pattern over the course of 3 to 4 days.