Fetal Movement-Kick Counts

Why are kick counts important?

Tracking fetal movement is a great way for expectant parents to monitor their baby’s health. Frequent baby movement is an excellent indicator of fetal well-being. There has been research done to show a 30% reduction in stillbirths by teaching pregnant women how to monitor fetal movement during the third trimester of pregnancy.

What are kick counts?

  • A kick count is fetal movement that includes flutters, jabs, kicks, turns, twists, swishes, and rolls. 
  • Fetal hiccups are not considered fetal movement.

How do I perform kick counts?

  • Start doing kick counts at 28 weeks gestation
  • Do kick counts at the same time every day if possible
  • You will need to allot 2 hours of time for this
  • Babies are most active after meals, activity, and in the evening 
  • Find a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down
  • Write down the time of the baby’s first kick (movement)
  • Count until you feel 10 movements. Most babies will take less than 30 minutes
  • American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists (ACOG) states that a healthy baby should have 10 movements in less than 2 hours 
  • Babies do have sleep cycles that can last up to an hour. If you do not feel ten movements in the first hour, drink a large glass of water and walk around for five minutes. Sit/lay back down and continue counting
  • Towards the end of your pregnancy (after 36 weeks) you may notice less “violent” kicks and more stretching or rolling movements. This is normal
  • Contact your provider or The Birth Center if you do not get 10 movements in 2 hours, or if you notice any significant change in movement over each day