Fetal movement or Kick counting or fetal kick monitoring, is a very important technique used in pregnancy period to track and monitor their baby’s movements in the womb. It involves counting and recording the number of times the baby moves or kicks over a specified period.
How to Do Kick Counting?
Here is a step by step kick counting technique:
Choose a Time: Pick a time of day when your baby is typically active. Many pregnant individuals find that their baby tends to be more active after meals or in the evening. However, any time that works for you is fine.
Get Comfortable: Find a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down. You want to be in a relaxed position where you can focus on your baby’s movements without distractions.
Count Movements: Pay attention to your baby’s movements. Each time you feel a kick, punch, roll, or any other type of movement, mark it down on a piece of paper, in a notebook, or using a smartphone app specifically designed for kick counting.
Set a Goal: Many healthcare providers recommend counting at least 10 movements within a 2-hour period. However, your healthcare provider may have specific guidelines for you based on your pregnancy and baby’s activity patterns.
Record the Time: Note the start time when you begin counting and the end time when you reach your goal (e.g., 10 movements). If you don’t reach the goal within the specified time frame, continue counting until you do.
Why Kick Counting is Important?
Kick counting is an essential part of prenatal care for several reasons:
Monitoring Fetal Health: Kick counting helps monitor your baby’s well-being. A decrease in fetal movements can sometimes indicate a potential problem, such as fetal distress.
Assessing Baby’s Activity Patterns: Kick counting allows you to become familiar with your baby’s activity patterns and helps you notice any significant changes. It’s normal for fetal movement patterns to vary throughout the day, but a consistent decrease in activity may warrant medical attention.
Bonding: Counting your baby’s movements can be a way to bond with your baby during pregnancy. It provides a sense of connection and reassurance.
Peace of Mind: Regular kick counting can provide peace of mind for expectant parents. Knowing that your baby is active and healthy can reduce anxiety during pregnancy.
Every baby has its own unique movement patterns, and there can be variations from day to day. However, a consistent and significant decrease in fetal movement, especially if it falls below the recommended count, you should be reported to your healthcare provider immediately. Reduced fetal movement could be a sign of various issues, including fetal distress, and requires prompt evaluation to ensure the baby’s well-being. Your healthcare provider can provide specific guidance on kick counting based on your pregnancy and medical history.