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how to do fetal kick counts

A Guide To Fetal Kick Counts

As an expecting mother, I’m sure you’re eagerly awaiting to feel your precious baby kick inside the womb. And while those little kicks are endearing–there is more to your child’s movement than you might think. Below you will find our guide to fetal kicks, including why they are important to your pregnancy, how to count them, and more.

What do fetal kick counts really determine?

As your baby is growing, you will begin to feel movement further into your pregnancy. When you can expect to feel movement varies–some women experience fetal movement 13-16 weeks from the beginning of their last period, while others may not experience it until 18-25 weeks. Generally, first time mamas may not feel movement until the latter part, and that’s perfectly okay. 

Initially, you may feel some things going on in your body and have trouble determining what is actually going on–did the baby move? Do I have gas? Is it my imagination? This is normal, however keep in mind that fetal movement will be more pronounced as you get further into your pregnancy, You will get to a stage where you can tell for certain that your baby is punching or kicking. As you inch closer to your baby’s arrival, this movement will be an important indicator of how your little one is coping up in the womb. 

The American Pregnancy Association states that expecting mothers should generally be able to count 10 fetal movements within a period of two hours. It’s recommended to begin counting at 28 weeks. This lets you and your doctor know that your baby is doing well. Any abnormalities in fetal movement could be an indicator that something is wrong, therefore keeping tabs on your baby will prompt you to get medical help as quickly as possible if it’s needed. 

How To Count Fetal Kicks

Keeping track of your baby’s fetal movement is easy! It’s most helpful to do it around the same time everyday (to help you remember) and to choose a time when your baby is most active, which is usually right after a meal. You will want to write down on a piece of paper your start time, then note an “x” or checkmark each time you feel your baby move. Once you get to 10, stop. Write down your end time. Usually you will get to 10 long before the 2 hour mark is even over, however in the event that you do not reach 10 movements within the recommended 2 hour period, start again. If the second time around you still are not able to get 10 movements within the 2 hour window, then contact your doctor right away. If you notice any significant change in the pattern you have recorded over the course of 3-4 days, contact your healthcare provider as well. 

Tips For Promoting Fetal Movement

If you’re concerned about how your little one is doing, there are some things you can do to encourage fetal movement. Having a sweet snack or glass of juice can help as it’s said the rise in blood sugar will get the baby moving. You can also try a light exercise such as a brisk walk, then afterwards lie down. Keep in mind that as the baby gets closer to his or her arrival you may experience less movement because the baby is growing, leaving less space in your womb. 

Whenever in doubt, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor with questions or concerns. And remember mama, enjoy the process! 

Sources:

https://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/kick-counts/

https://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/first-fetal-movement/

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