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

Counting your baby’s kicks is a great way for you and your partner to bond with your baby. By performing a kick count at the same time every day during your last trimester, you can also help your doctor monitor your baby’s health. What your baby is telling you with its kicks is important! In fact, research shows that counting your baby’s kicks may help reduce the risk of stillbirth. Doctors recommend that parents start counting and keeping track of their baby’s kicks beginning in the 28th week of pregnancy. By doing this every day, you will get to know within a week or two what your baby’s normal pattern is. By using a kick count chart, you and your doctor will be able to tell if there are any changes in your baby’s normal pattern. Studies show that a major decrease in your baby’s normal pattern could be a signal that there’s a problem.

There are various benefits to counting your baby's kicks during pregnancy. Significant changes in your baby’s movement pattern may help identify potential problems before the baby's heart rate is affected.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that you note the time it takes to feel 10 kicks, jabs, turns, swishes or rolls (not hiccups). A healthy baby should have 10 kicks in less than two hours. Most babies will take less than 30 minutes.

Here are some good reasons to count your baby's kicks while in the womb:

  • Counting the kicks helps you bond with your baby. Taking time to count the kicks provides a special time for you to focus on your baby’s movements and personality. It is also a good time for your partner to share in this experience with you and bond with the baby too!
  • It helps you to get to know your baby. Counting the kicks helps you familiarize yourself with your baby’s typical pattern of movements. By counting the kicks and tracking them each day, you will be more likely to notice any changes in his or her pattern of movements.
  • It is an easy way to take an active role in your baby’s health in addition to your regular prenatal visits and tests. A Count The Kicks chart is another tool you can use to help detect potential problems. You can also download the Count the Kicks! app.

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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.