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Pregnancy: Kick Counts

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Pregnancy: Kick Counts

Overview

Counting your baby's kicks is one way your doctor can tell that your baby is healthy. You will probably feel your baby move for the first time between 16 and 22 weeks. The movement may feel like flutters rather than kicks. Your baby may move more at certain times of the day. When you are active, you may notice less kicking than when you are resting. At your prenatal visits, your doctor will ask whether the baby is active.

In your last trimester, your doctor may ask you to count the number of times you feel your baby move.

How do you count fetal kicks?

  • A common method of checking your baby's movement is to note the length of time it takes to count 10 movements (such as kicks, flutters, or rolls).
  • Pick your baby's most active time of day to count. This may be any time from morning to evening.
  • If you don't feel 10 movements in an hour, have something to eat or drink and count for another hour. If you don't feel at least 10 movements in the 2-hour period, call your doctor.

Do not use an at-home Doppler heart monitor in place of counting fetal movements.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: July 11, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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