Kick counting can document changes in the fetal movement pattern and can help moms-to-be notify their healthcare provider of potential problems. How do I do it?
If your healthcare provider has labeled your pregnancy high risk, start kick counting at 24 weeks. Otherwise, begin at 28 weeks.
- Count movements at about the same time each day during the time period when your baby is usually active.
- Get in a comfortable sitting or lying position. Relax and dedicate this time to feeling your baby’s movements.
- You may want to rest your hands or your partner’s on your abdomen to better feel the movements. Your ability to feel the baby depends on the thickness of your abdominal wall, placental location and your sensitivity to the movements.
- Jot down the time of the baby’s first movement and the time of the tenth movement. Most babies take less than 15 minutes.
- If your baby moves less than usual or has less than 10 movements in two hours, arouse your baby by drinking fluid or walking for a few minutes and repeat the kick counting session.
- Contact your provider if there is still decreased fetal movement, if there is a significant change in your baby’s usual activity, or if your baby takes longer than two hours for 10 movements.
- If you have been evaluated for decreased fetal movement and sent home, make sure to follow up with your provider within a week.
Source: Diep Nguyen, OB/GYN, mother of three and founder of the BabyKick Foundation.