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As you near the middle of your pregnancy, you’ll begin to experience those first wondrous flutters of your baby’s movement in your womb. Although they may be fleeting at first, those tiny stirrings will soon become unmistakable and frequent.
Toward the end of your pregnancy, usually around the 28th week of gestation, your doctor or midwife will most likely mention “kick counts.” More and more often, medical practitioners are using kick counts as a means of monitoring your baby and ensuring a healthy level of activity.
So, what exactly is a kick count, and how do you know if you’re doing it correctly?
As the name implies, a kick count is a tally of the number of movements your baby makes in a given time period. Below are some tips for obtaining accurate results:
• Always perform kick counts at the same time of day, ideally at an hour when your baby is typically the most active.
• Get a pen and piece of paper and lie down on your side. Each time you feel your baby move, make a mark on the paper. Any type of movement qualifies, no matter where you feel it or how forceful it is.
• Continue marking movements until you have 10 marks in a 30-minute time span. If you have fewer than 10 marks and 30 minutes have passed, turn on your other side and continue the count.
• If you’re not feeling much movement, try drinking some orange juice or eating a snack. The sugar consumption can help to get your baby up and moving.
• If you haven’t recorded at least 10 movements in two 30-minute sessions, contact your doctor or midwife for suggestions.