In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day on October 15, we encourage pregnant woman to “Count Kicks” during pregnancy.
Why should I count kicks during my third trimester? Big changes in your baby’s movement pattern may mean problems with your pregnancy. The more in-tune you are with your baby’s regular movements, the quicker you can contact your doctor if something seems different. Counting kicks also helps you bond with your baby before he or she is born.
When should I start counting kicks? Pregnant women should keep track of baby’s movements during the third trimester, or at 28 weeks. Your doctor may recommend that you begin at 24-26 weeks if you have a high-risk pregnancy.
How do I count kicks?
¨ Count the time it takes for your baby to make 10 movements. A movement includes kicks, rolls, jabs, twists, turns, and switches. Hiccups are not considered a movement. Your baby should move 10 times in less than 2 hours. Count kicks every day, at around the same time.
¨ Count kicks when your baby is usually active, such as after a snack or meal.
¨ Make sure that your baby is awake first; walking, pushing on your tummy or having a cold drink are good wake-up calls.
¨ To get started, sit with your feet up or lie on your side. Count each of your baby’s movements as one kick, and count until you reach 10 kicks or movements.
¨ Most of the time it will take less than a half-hour, but it could take as long as two hours.
¨ Log your recorded times into a Count the Kicks chart. (For a free, printable, “Count the Kicks” chart, visit www.countthekicks.org.)
When should I contact my doctor?
- Call your doctor if your baby has less than 10 movements in 2 hours.
- Call your provider if your baby has a sudden change in movements.
- When in doubt, contact your doctor.