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General Questions

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 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 the Kicks everyday, preferably at the same time.
  • Pick your time based on 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.
  • Counting the kicks helps you to bond with your baby. Taking time to Count the Kicks provides a special time for you to focus on your baby’s movements and personality. It is also a good time for your partner to share in this experience with you and bond with the baby too!
  • It helps you to get to know your baby. Count the Kicks help you familiarize yourself with your baby’s typical pattern of movements. By counting the kicks and tracking them each day, you will be more likely to notice any changes in his or her pattern of movements.
  • It is an easy way to take an active role in your baby’s health in addition to your regular prenatal visits and tests. Count The Kicks is another tool you can use to help detect potential problems.


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.

  • Call your provider if your baby has less than 10 movements in 2 hours.
  • Call your provider if your baby has a significant or sudden change in movements.
  • Do not wait 24 hours when there is no fetal movement or significant changes in the movements.
  • When in doubt, contact your provider.


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!


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