Scientific studies indicate keeping a daily record of your baby’s movements – and that includes kicks, rolls, punches, and jabs – during the last weeks of pregnancy, is an easy, free and reliable way to monitor a baby’s well-being.
There are apps you can download to your phone that will make this easier, but you really don’t need one. Count those movements every day, preferably at the same time. You should pick a time when your baby is usually active.
- To get started, get comfortable. You can sit with your feet up or lie on your side. Count each of your baby’s movements as one kick until you reach ten movements. Write down when you started, and when you ended. That will show how long it took to get to 10 movements. After a few days, you will begin to see a pattern for your baby.
- Most of the time it will take less than a half-hour, but it could take as long as two hours. As long as your baby moves 10 times in 2 hours you’re within the normal range of what researchers consider healthy.
- After a few days, you’ll notice what’s normal for your baby – if you haven’t already. That includes the ways the baby moves, the locations, how it feels and so on. Knowing what’s normal for your baby is important. When “normal” changes, this could be a sign of potential problems and an indication to call your provider.
- Bring your kick count notes to your prenatal appointments.
Babies don’t run out of room at the end of pregnancy but they do become more cramped. Their movements may change from a punch to a rolling nudge, but your baby should be moving. What if your baby doesn’t move? He may be asleep. You can drink a big glass of ice water, or put a bag of frozen peas across your belly, or eat something sweet. All are ways women have reported they stimulated a sleepy baby.
Download and print this free kick count chart.