Fetal Kick Counts
Calculating Your Baby's Movements
Taking time to register these movements is a great way for you to bond with your baby and check in on his well-being.
How to Count
Every doctor has a slightly different way of tracking Baby’s movement, so be sure to check in with your OB to find out how he or she prefers you count kicks.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG ) recommends that you find a quiet and comfortable spot to sit (or lie down on your left side, which is optimal for providing your baby proper blood and oxygen circulation) and perform a kick count at least once a day from your seventh month of pregnancy until you deliver.
Try doing the test 20 minutes after eating and see how long it takes the baby to move (kick, flutter, swish, or roll) 10 times.
Again, you should feel your baby move 10 times in about two hours. “If it takes longer than four hours, it is a good idea to call your doctor,” suggests Dr. Gerard M. DiLeo, MD, BabyZone’s board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist.
By the way, if this is your second (or third or fourth!) pregnancy, chances are you’ll notice Baby moving around much earlier. (Some women profess to feel movement as early as week 12!)
When to Call Your Doctor
The ACOG recommends that if you’ve not felt 10 kicks by the end of the second hour of counting, you wait a few hours and then try to count again. After the second session, if you’ve not felt 10 movements within two hours, contact your healthcare provider right away.
You should also make a call to your doctor if you notice a big change in your baby’s movement patterns over the course of three to four days. (For example, if you’ve noticed that your baby has been very active after breakfast or right before you go to bed each day for several weeks, but then quiets down considerably for three to four days, you should mention the pattern change to your doctor.)
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