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Fetal Kick Counts

Healthy babies usually are active babies
Record your baby kicks


Fetal Kick Counts

During pregnancy, healthy babies usually are active babies.

The kick count is an easy, non-invasive test that you can do at home to check your baby's well being. The idea is to be sure he or she is moving around enough.

There are numerous ways to count your baby's movements and numerous opinions on how many movements you are looking for within a certain amount of time. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that you time how long it takes you to feel 10 kicks, flutters, swishes or rolls. Ideally, you want to feel at least 10 movements within 2 hours. Most likely you will feel 10 movements in much less time.

Though strongly recommended for high risk pregnancies, counting fetal movements beginning at 28 weeks may be beneficial for all pregnancies.

Remember: Your baby will normally have periods when it is asleep, sometimes lasting as long as four hours; however, this period should not exceed four hours.

Kick count chart example
Print out a blank fetal kick count chart

When will I feel movement? :
Sometime between 18 and 25 weeks into pregnancy, moms will begin to feel movement. Most mothers to be eagerly await that first reassuring flutter, just to know their baby is growing and developing. For first time moms, it may occur closer to 25 weeks and for second or third time moms, it may occur closer to 18 weeks.

What month or week do I start the kick count ? :
You should begin counting your baby's movements daily in the seventh month of your pregnancy (around 28 - 30 weeks) and continue until delivery.

How to do the kick count ? :
You might want to start a notebook of your own or use a fetal kick chart like the one below. In a notebook or on your chart, record the time you start, place a check mark for the time of the 10th movement. This will help you observe patterns and discover how long it normally takes for your baby to move 10 times. Keep in mind that you are looking for significant deviations from the pattern.

When to do the kick count ? :
Try to schedule the kick count during your baby's most active time of day, but also a time when you will be able to record movements over three or four hours, if needed. You will need to record movements starting from about the same time each day.

What is the best time and position to do the count ? :
You may want to have a meal or snack before starting as you probably have noticed, food often makes your baby active. Alternatively, try a few minutes of exercise or take a brisk walk. Some moms prefer sitting with a good back rest with their arms holding their belly. Other moms prefer lying on their left side, which they find most effective for monitoring their baby. Lying on your left side also allows for the best circulation which could lead to a more active baby. Be sure you have a clock in view, and note on the kick count chart what time you start to record movements.

When should I call my physician or midwife ?:
  • If you have followed the above recommendations and have not felt 10 kicks by the end of the second hour, wait a few hours and try again. If after trying a second time, you do not feel 10 movements within 2 hours you should contact your health care provider.
  • If you notice a significant deviation from the pattern over the course of 3 to 4 days.


Fetal Kick Counts Chart

  • Write in the date and time that you start the kick count.
  • Count movements until your baby moves 10 times.
  • Make an 'X' next to the minutes it took your baby to move 10 times.
  • If you have trouble getting your baby to move, get up and move around for a bit and drink fruit juice. Then, lay down and try counting again.
  • If there is a significant decrease in your baby's activity level, or if you cannot get the baby to move, contact your physician.



 Week:   30Week:   31
 Minutes  10         X        10              
   20     X            20              
   30   X     X          30              
   40           X      40              
   50                50              
 Hours    1                1              
   1.5                1.5              
   2                2              
   2.5                2.5              

Print out a blank fetal kick chart


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