How to Do Kick Counts: Why Pregnant Moms Should Count Their Babies' Kicks in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy by 30Seconds Pregnancy

How to Do Kick Counts: Why Pregnant Moms Should Count Their Babies' Kicks in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Are you counting your baby's kicks yet? If you're not, around 28 weeks of pregnancy is a good time to start. “Though strongly recommended for high-risk pregnancies, counting fetal movements beginning at 28 weeks may be beneficial for all pregnancies,” states the American Pregnancy Association (APA).

To do kick counts, pick a time when your baby is most active. For many women, that is in the morning or right after they’ve eaten something sweet or exercised. Here's how to count those baby kicks:

  • Sit down or lie on your left side, which many women find to be a comfortable position while pregnant. You do not have to lie on your left side, but according to the APA, “Lying on your left side also allows for the best circulation, which could lead to a more active baby.”
  • Now count each kick. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) suggests that you time how long it takes to feel 10 kicks (flutters, swishes or rolls). Preferably, you want to get 10 movements from your baby within a two-hour period. Many moms get a lot more than 10 in a lot less time. Every baby is different.
  • Record the kicks. Write down the time and number of movements. Do this by writing down the time you felt the first kick and then the time it was when you got to 10 kicks. You should start to see a pattern after you record the kick counts for a few days.

If you see a big pattern change in your baby, it’s a good idea to call your doctor or midwife. According to the American Pregnancy Association, call your doctor if:

  • You do not get to 10 kicks by the end of the second hour. If you’ve just started recording kick counts, you may want to try again in a few hours. If you try again and do not get 10 kicks within two hours, call your doctor. Most times nothing is wrong, but it’s better to be safe.
  • You notice a big change in your baby’s kick pattern over a few days. Refer to your notes on the time and amount of kicks that is "normal" for your baby. 

It’s important to remember that every pregnancy and every baby is different. Just because your friend’s baby kicks 40 times in two hours doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your baby that only kicks 12 times. Also, as your baby grows he will not run out of room and stop kicking. Babies do not slow down movement as you near their due date. The kicks may not be jabs, but you will feel movement up until delivery. Trust your instincts, mama. If you feel something is wrong, always call your doctor.

Counting your baby's kicks can be a wonderful bonding experience. You are literally getting to know the little person inside you better. Why not involve your spouse or older kids as well and use that time to talk or just be with each other. Pretty soon, you'll be praying for some alone time! 

The information on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information provided through this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider.

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Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
I remember counting kicks during my pregnancies. It's a very exciting time!

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