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Fetal Kick Counts - Why Is It Critical?

December 8, 2023

You are probably worried about what’s going on with your baby because there’s no way to tell unless you see your doctor. But by the time you are in your third trimester, there is an easy technique that you can use at home - Fetal Kick Counts.

Feeling your baby’s kicks and jabs and wriggles is one of the most exciting things in your pregnancy! It is almost as if it’s your baby’s way of constantly reminding you to be excited and surprised about what’s going on in your tummy!

Kick counts are important because it gives you an insight into your baby’s pattern and helps you understand if something is off. Keeping your doctor informed of your babies movements may help her address any problems if the baby is in distress. Usually earlier than 28 weeks, your baby doesn’t have a pattern, so any movement is good. Once you hit your third trimester, your baby’s kicks become stronger and more predictable - that’s when you can start on your kick counts.

Here is what you need to look out for:

When - Sometime in the morning when the baby’s kicks are less frequent because you are more active and then sometime in the evening when you are relaxing is when the kicks can be more frequent and noticeable. Its better felt when you are hungry and when you have just eaten.

How - Make a note of the time and count upto 10 kicks and record the time again. This includes any kicks, wriggles, swishes or flutters. 10 kicks in 10 hours - Cardiff count of 10!

Note -  3 kicks in 1 hour, post major meals is very reassuring.

What if you don’t feel 10 movements - Eat a snack or drink a juice and lie down then count for next 1 hour. If you still do not feel at least 3 movements then, contact your doctor. This may not necessarily mean something is wrong but it’s always a good idea to get it checked.

Remember - As you move closer to your due date, regular checking of fetal movements becomes more important. If you notice a sudden decrease in the movements, contact your doctor.

Even if your pregnancy is not a high-risk one, it is important that you count your baby’s movements regularly. In fact, it could save your baby’s life! Counting kicks is an important way to help prevent stillbirth because monitoring can help identify any problem.

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