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Why should I count my baby's movements during late pregnancy?

Changes in your baby's movements may reflect changes in her well-being. Some doctors recommend doing fetal movement counts, which involve keeping a record of the number of times your baby moves during the later part of your pregnancy. Because each baby has an individual pattern of activity, the normal range can vary widely from 20 to 200 movements per day. Your doctor may ask you to keep a record of the number of times your baby moves during the day. Here is one suggested method:
  • When you arise in the morning, begin counting the number of movements you experience. Three simultaneous kicks would be counted as three movements.
  • If you have not felt 20 fetal movements by noon, have lunch and sit in a quiet location to continue your movement count.
  • If, by early to mid-afternoon, you still have not reached a count of 20, call your healthcare provider. Also, call if you feel no movement during an eight-hour period or if you think that the pattern of fetal movement has changed significantly from what it usually is (a lot more movement or a lot less).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.