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Kick Counts in Pregnancy
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Kick counts measure how much your baby is moving in your womb. A kick from your baby can be felt as a twist, turn, swish, roll, or jab. It is common to feel your baby kicking at 26 to 28 weeks of pregnancy. You may feel your baby kick as early as 20 weeks of pregnancy. You may want to start counting at 28 weeks.
Contact your healthcare provider immediately if:
- You feel a change in the number of kicks or movements of your baby.
- You feel fewer than 10 kicks within 2 hours.
- You have questions or concerns about your baby's movements.
Why measure kick counts:
Your baby's movement may provide information about your baby's health. He or she may move less, or not at all, if there are problems. Your baby may move less if he or she is not getting enough oxygen or nutrition from the placenta. Do not smoke while you are pregnant. Smoking decreases the amount of oxygen that gets to your baby. Talk to your healthcare provider if you need help to quit smoking. Tell your healthcare provider as soon as you feel a change in your baby's movements.
When to measure kick counts:
- Measure kick counts at the same time every day.
- Measure kick counts when your baby is awake and most active. Your baby may be most active in the evening.
How to measure kick counts:
Check that your baby is awake before you measure kick counts. You can wake up your baby by lightly pushing on your belly, walking, or drinking something cold. Your healthcare provider may tell you different ways to measure kick counts. You may be told to do the following:
- Use a chart or clock to keep track of the time you start and finish counting.
- Sit in a chair or lie on your left side.
- Place your hands on the largest part of your belly.
- Count until you reach 10 kicks. Write down how much time it takes to count 10 kicks.
- It may take 30 minutes to 2 hours to count 10 kicks. It should not take more than 2 hours to count 10 kicks.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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