With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important for expectant parents to understand the importance of kick counting in the third trimester. Now is a great time to start using the free Count the Kicks app to get to know what’s normal for your baby, and it’s also essential to speak up when you notice a change.
Did you know? Counting kicks, jabs, pokes and rolls is a free, noninvasive way to check on your baby’s well-being. It’s also a great way to bond with your baby during pregnancy. By using the Count the Kicks app every day in the third trimester, you can navigate this season with the peace of mind to know when things are OK and when you need to contact your provider.
We know it can be challenging to speak up, but it is essential to contact your provider right away if you notice a change in your baby’s normal movement (how long it takes your baby to get to 10 movements).
These steps are an important reminder for you to trust your intincts and advocate for your baby.
Five Steps to Speaking Up During COVID
- Speak Up: Contact your provider right away if you notice a change in the strength of your baby’s movements or how long it takes your baby to get to 10 movements.
- Trust your Instincts: Your baby’s movements are an important vital sign, and YOU know your baby best! Trust your gut.
- Don’t Delay: There is no bad time to call or go in. If your provider’s office is closed, hospitals are open 24/7, ready to serve YOU.
- Speak Louder: YOU have a choice. Your provider is there to listen to YOU. If your provider isn’t listening, speak louder until they do.
- Hours and Minutes Matter: Don’t hesitate. A change in movement is often the first or only indication a baby is in distress. Don’t let fear of COVID stop you from going in. The risks of not speaking up outweigh the risk of going in.
If you need to Speak Up, try this:
- “I am counting my kicks and I noticed reduced fetal movement.”
- “I am counting my kicks and I noticed a change in my baby’s movement.”
- “I am counting my kicks and my baby is not moving like normal.”
PRO TIP: During your prenatal appointments, be sure to ask your provider how to contact them if you have concerns, and when you should go directly to the hospital.
Why We Count
A change in movement, whether a decrease or rapid increase, is sometimes the earliest or only indication that your baby should be checked by your provider. It’s also important to pay attention to the strength of your baby’s movements and notify your provider if your baby’s movements become weaker.