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Babies On The Go: Count Those Kicks

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Babies on the go: Count those kicks

You'll never forget the time you feel that magical first flutter of life. Once you become aware that your baby is moving, however, you may start to worry, "Is he or she moving enough?"

As your baby grows, the little flutters you felt at 20 weeks will turn into kicks, punches, pokes and stretches. By the time you are 30 weeks pregnant you should feel your baby moving every day.

It's important to remember that babies are just like you. Some days are busier than others. And, like you, your baby goes through cycles of activity, including periods of sleep. Remember that we don't feel all the movements the baby makes, usually because we are busy, too.

How to track baby's movements

To put your fears at rest and to be on the safe side, your healthcare provider may recommend that you keep track of the baby's movement by fetal movement counts. This is recommended after you reach 27 weeks of pregnancy. Several methods are used. Here is a common one:

  • Pick any time of day to count the movements. A good time is after dinner when the fetus is likely to be active.
  • Write down the time you start paying attention and put a checkmark every time you feel a movement (don't count hiccups.)
  • When you have felt 10 movements, write down that time.

Do this daily at the same time. This will help with the accuracy of the test. If baby seems sluggish, try walking for five minutes, eating or drinking juice. Then go lie down on your left side in a quiet room. The baby should move 10 times in two hours.

When to call your healthcare provider

  • If your baby has not moved 10 times in two hours
  • If you have not felt the baby move all day (12 hours)
  • If you notice a significant change in your baby's activity

Date last reviewed: October 2002.