Count the Kicks is a public health campaign that encourages expectant parents to monitor their baby's movements in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Significant changes in your baby’s movement pattern may help identify potential problems with your pregnancy before the baby's heart rate is affected.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that you note the time it takes to feel 10 kicks, jabs, turns, swishes, or rolls (not hiccups). A healthy baby should have 10 kicks in less than 2 hours. Most babies will take less than 30 minutes.
Count the Kicks everyday helps you establish your baby’s typical pattern of movement. Knowing your baby's usual movement pattern will help you notice if there are any significant changes to these patterns. You should always alert your healthcare provider immediately of any significant changes. Your provider will determine if further evaluation and treatment is needed. For example, if you do daily kick counts and know that your baby usually moves 10 times in 15 minutes, you will notice if your baby suddenly takes over two hours to move 10 times, or doesn’t move at all. You would then call your healthcare provider to report these findings.
While statistically your chances of losing your baby after the first trimester decrease, one out of every 150 pregnancies ends in stillbirth (defined as a baby that dies at 20 weeks of gestation or later). Fifty percent of mothers who have lost a baby to stillbirth reported perceived gradual decline in fetal movement several days prior to the death of their baby. This indicates that many cases of stillbirth are not sudden. Count The Kicks will help you detect any significant changes in your baby's movement that may indicate potential problems.
A change of the baby’s heartbeat is one of the last things that occurs when a baby is in distress. Daily monitoring of movements allows you to detect a change in your baby's movements. A significant change in fetal movement may identify potential problems before actual changes in the heart rate are detected. By the time the heart slows or stops, it may be too late.
Typically you start monitoring fetal 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.
Most healthy babies should take less than 2 hours for 10 kicks. Every baby is different. Keeping track of your daily kick counting sessions will help you know what is "normal" for your baby. Notify your provider immediately if your baby has not moved 10 times in 2 hours or there have been significant changes. Use a Count the Kicks Chart for easy charting and tracking of your baby’s movements. Download a FREE Count the Kicks chart.
A Count the Kicks Chart is an easy-to-use tool to get to know your baby and one way to alert you to potential problems. Download a FREE Count the Kicks Chart.
To use the Kick Count Chart, simply check the box that corresponds with the number of minutes it took to feel 10 movements. After a few weeks you will probably see a pattern in the results. Call your doctor immediately if you notice a significant change in your baby’s movement patterns.
Toward the end of pregnancy the baby may move differently. You may feel less kicking and more rolling. However, if you are monitoring the baby’s movements at the same time each day, it should take about the same amount of time to feel 10 movements. Call your doctor if you notice a significant change in your baby’s movement patterns or if you do not feel 10 movements in 2 hours.
If you cannot feel the baby move, drink a glass of juice or cold water or walk around for a few minutes, then start counting again. If you still do not feel your baby move, call your healthcare provider right away! Don’t wait!