How to Count the Kicks

En Espanol

Counting kicks is easy to do.  It's important too! It’s a great way to bond with your baby.

Most importantly, it could save your baby’s life. 

There is no magic number of movements a mother should feel.  The most important thing is to monitor YOUR baby's movements every day so you will know what is normal for YOUR baby.  

If you only remember two things, they are: 

#1 - Babies do not run out of room to move.  They will run out of room for somersaults but they should be moving all the way up to and during labor.

#2 - Call right away if you notice a change in your baby's movement pattern.  Even if you have an appointment scheduled for the next day, do not wait.

When you start your 3rd trimester, it's time to start counting.

  • Count the Kicks every day, 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 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.
  • 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 using our Count the Kicks App or a kick chart.

Charting your baby’s activity is a great way to get to know your baby and can alert you to potential problems. As a parent, it’s reassuring to Count the Kicks to make sure your baby is active and healthy, and counting may reduce the risk of a stillbirth, which occurs every 22 minutes in the United States. Your kick count history can be useful for visits with your provider.

Dr. Johnson will walk us through how to Count the Kicks.  Scientific studies indicate kick counting, a daily record of a baby's movements (kicks, rolls, punches, jabs) during the third trimester, is an easy, free and reliable way to monitor a baby's well-being in addition to regular prenatal visits.   Counting kicks is recommended by the American Congress Of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends you begin counting the kicks at your 28th week, or at 26 weeks if you are high risk or pregnant with multiples. 

After a few weeks of counting, you will probably see a bit of variance from day to day in the results, but for the most part the numbers should be similar. This will continue to be the case for a healthy baby—call your doctor if you notice a significant CHANGE in your baby’s movement pattern.

If you don’t feel 10 movements during your usual two-hour counting period, try to wake your baby up by drinking fluids, pushing on your tummy or taking a quick walk. Then, repeat the kick count. Call your provider immediately if you still don’t feel any movements.

Don’t wait!

You should also call your provider if you notice a significant change in your baby’s movement patterns. For, example, if you normally count 10 movements within 30 minutes and then you notice that it is taking the full two hours to record 10 movements.

Remember that all babies have frequent sleep/wake cycles and will sleep often. But very rarely does a baby kick fewer than 10 times during a two-hour period, as most babies don’t sleep longer than an hour at a time near the end of pregnancy.

Make sure to count every day!









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