Nov 17, 2011

Counting Baby Kicks

I read a while ago about counting baby’s kicks to test for health and wellbeing.  Most of us first time mothers couldn’t wait to feel the first kick and didn’t until around week 20-24.  Those been-there-done-that moms started bragging around week 16 that they were feeling those familiar rolls and kicks.  I was so jealous… I suppose it was around week 25 that I started feeling the kicks and small movements regularly. Last week during week 27 I actually saw the outside of my belly move, which was so freaking cool! Now that I am at week 28 it is time to officially start counting kicks!

Kick counting is highly recommended for high risk pregnancies, and should begin around week 25.  For the rest of the preggies the test should start around week 28. The whole purpose is to stay in tune with your baby’s movements and well being in the womb.  It is also a fabulous opportunity for quiet bonding!

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that you time how long it takes you to feel 10 kicks, flutters, swishes, or rolls. Ideally, you want to feel at least 10 movements within 2 hours. You will likely feel 10 movements in much less time. I started a few days ago for fun and found that I could get to 10 movements in an hour or less.

How to count the kicks: ( this list comes from my doctors office)

1.         Choose a time when your baby is most active. Studies show your baby to be more active after dinner, after drinking something cold or eating something sweet, as well as between 9:00 pm and 1:00 am, as your blood sugar level is declining. But some find the mornings are most active, find what's best for you and baby and stick to it. 

2. Eat or drink something before you start counting

3.   Get comfortable. You will be in this position for an hour or so.  I lay on my left side on my couch.

4.  Have your recording device (I use the Baby Bump Smart Phone app) or pen and paper close by.

5.   Start the clock!

6. If you count for one hour and you don't get 5 movements, lie on your side and really focus on the counting for one more hour. If you are still less than 5 movements, call the office for further evaluation.

7. you can do this 2 times a day but not every hour.

Here is an example of recording your kick counts using pen and paper. 

Week #28
Monday 9:00 XXXXXXXXXX 9:32 Total: 32 min

Tuesday 12:00 XXXXXXXXXX 12:45 Total: 45 min

Wednesday 9:00 XXXXXXXXXX 10:00 Total: 1 hr.
Thursday 9:00 XXXXXXXXXX 11:15 Total: 2 hrs. 15 min.

(This is also an example of significant change over the week. In a case like this you should notify your health care provider.) For more information visit,  http://www.americanpregnancy.org/duringpregnancy/kickcounts.htm

Call your doctor or midwife if you do not feel 10 kicks or movements in a 2-hour period, or you find a deviation over time, like the one shown above.  Otherwise, sit back and relax and enjoy your bonding time.

I absolutely love it!  I take this time to zone into my belly and my baby.  I envision him rolling around in there. I get so excited when I feel a kick. Last night there were three in a row and then one was 5 minutes apart then another was 10 minutes, it’s really exciting!  I try to encourage him and send him wonderful loving thoughts. 

So far this has been my favorite part of pregnancy. I am actually interacting with my baby while he is still in my belly!  

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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