Many doctors recommend kick counting as a way to monitor your baby’s health in the third trimester. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends you begin counting movements at your 28th week, or at 26 weeks if you are high risk.
When you start your 3rd trimester, it’s time to start counting.
Here’s how you do it:
- Download the FREE Count the Kicks app available in the Google Play or iTunes stores.
- Count the Kicks every day, preferably at the same time.
- Pick your time based on when your baby is usually active.
- To get started, sit with your feet up or lie on your side. Count each of your baby’s movements as one kick and tap the foot on our app until you reach ten movements. After a few days you will begin to see a pattern for your baby (how long it takes you to get to ten).
- Most of the time it will take less than a half hour, but it could take as long as two hours.
- Save your kick counting sessions in the app to see your baby’s movement history.
- Knowing what is a normal movement pattern for your baby is key. When “normal” changes, this could be a sign of potential problems and an indication to call your provider.
- Your kick counting history can be useful for visits with your provider.
- The app will record the amount of time it took to get 10 movements, or you can log your times into a Count the Kicks chart.
- There is no magic number of movements a mother should feel.
- The most important thing is to count your baby’s kicks every day so you will know what is normal for your baby. For example, if you normally count 10 movements within 30 minutes and then you notice that it is taking two hours to record 10 movements that is a change in your baby’s movement pattern.
- Babies don’t run out of room.
- Babies do not slow down at the end of pregnancy. While they may run out of room for somersaults, babies move all the way up to and during labor.
- The hospital is always open.
- Every baby and every pregnancy is different. If you notice a change in what is normal for your baby, contact your provider immediately. Don’t wait!
It’s important to count!
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.