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Your Baby’s Movements-How to Count the Kicks

By keeping track of each time your baby kicks, rolls or pokes, you can monitor your baby’s health and begin to create a bond with him or her.

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 in one out of every 160 pregnancies in the United States.

  • 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.

Charting your baby’s activity is a great way to get to know your baby and can alert you to potential problems. Your charts are also useful for visits with your doctor.

The American College 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 for a few days in a row 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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