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How should I count my baby's kicks during pregnancy?

Try to do your kick count about the same time every day. Pick a time of day when you know your baby is active. The best time is after you eat a snack or meal. Sit in a chair with your feet up or lay down on your side. Make sure your baby is awake. If you are not sure, try pushing on your tummy. Walking around or drinking something cold can help too. Use a chart to write down the time you start counting. Count each movement as one kick. Kicks can be twists, turns, swishes, rolls and jabs. Count until you reach 10 kicks. Write down the number of minutes it took to count 10 kicks. It will take most moms less than 30 minutes, but it can take as long as two hours. After a week or two, you will see that the kicking varies from day to day, but for the most part the days seem similar. This will continue to be the case for a healthy baby.

It might be helpful to know that very rarely does a baby kick less than 10 times during a two-hour period. It is also important to note that all babies have regular sleep/wake cycles and your baby will sleep many times a day. However, even near the end of pregnancy, most babies do not sleep for longer than one hour at a time.

Ms. Kathryne A. LeMieux
Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine Specialist

Lie down in a quite spot after a meal and put both hands on your tummy. Count the number of kicks or movements you feel for one hour. You should feel at least 10 kicks in 1 hour if your baby is healthy and moving normally. If you don't feel your baby move—contact your doctor for follow up as soon as possible.

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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.