Baby's Movements

Fetal Kick Counts

During the third trimester of your pregnancy try to record your babies activity. Pick the time of day your baby is the most active, and begin timing fetal movements around the same time every day.

A movement may be a kick, stretch, turn or flip. If your baby is kicking or moving less than usual, your baby may be telling you that he is under some stress or a problem may be developing. A rule of thumb is to count a total of 10 or more movements in 2 hours. This suggests your baby is doing well.

Important Note: Every baby has normal sleep and awake times, so your baby will have periods of both quiet and active time.

To record kick counts, use the following guidelines:

Lie down on your side or sit in your favorite comfortable chair. Choose a quiet place where you can really focus on your baby's movements without being distracted. If you smoke and have not been able to quit during your pregnancy, try not to smoke for at least 1 hour before counting begins. Please note your baby gets less oxygen and food because nicotine from cigarettes decreases blood flow to the uterus.

Write-down the time you start tracking the counts. Put a check for each time your baby kicks, twists or turns until you feel 10 movements. Do not count longer than 2 hours.

When your baby moves for the 10th time, write down the time and total how long it took for 10 movements.

Call your health care provider if:

  • You notice a significant change in your baby's activity.
  • Your baby has not moved 10 times in 2 hours.