Fetal kick counts. What is that? Girl, It is one of the most valuable tools to have in your pregnancy arsenal.
Fetal movement is significant later in pregnancy as it is an indicator of well being. A well-oxygenated baby moves.
So pay close attention to the movement of your baby bumble bee and use this handy tool to do so. (Hint: get a free form at the bottom of this post)
ALWAYS ERR ON THE SIDE OF CAUTION WHEN IT COMES TO FETAL MOVEMENT. In the past, mostly high-risk pregnancies were advised to do it, but it is smart practice for all pregnant women.
Related Post: 6 Signs of Labor according to a Labor Nurse
Fetal Movement is usually felt around 18 -25 weeks:
Fetal Movement usually is generally felt around 18-25 weeks. This sometimes occurs sooner for someone who has been pregnant before, as opposed to later for a first-time momma!! At this point in Pregnancy fetal kick counts should begin.
Fetal Movement includes:
- large movements
- small movements
- DOES NOT INCLUDE HICCUPS
Fetal kick counts can help prevent stillbirth:
According to the American Pregnancy Association performing a daily fetal kick count can reduce the chance of stillbirth. I am going to say this again and again.
ALWAYS CALL YOUR PROVIDER OR COME TO THE HOSPITAL IF YOUR BABY ISN’T MOVING NORMALLY.
When should you do fetal kick counts?
The best time to count fetal movements would be during the time your baby is active most days. This is usually after a meal, sugary drinks, physical activity or in the evenings.
For instance, my eldest son barely moved early in the day. However, he was a disco dancer late at night. (Consequently, that never changed!) Lay down on your left side.
Although the fetus gets its best oxygenation when you are on your left side, you can choose your position. Just remain quiet and distraction free.
How long should you count movements?
The amount of time it takes to feel fetal movement is different for everyone. But you should set aside a period of no more than 2 hours.
Many providers say only 1 hour. Always follow your provider’s recommendation and go with your gut.
How do I do I interpret fetal kick counts?
Lay on your left side (or however you are comfortable) and count each movement.
You should feel ten movements within 2 hours (some providers say 1 hour) and once you’ve felt ten movements finished.
If you don’t feel the baby moving or the baby is moving less than usual, CALL YOUR PROVIDER. They may say drink something sugary and start again.
But more often than now, they will want you to come to the hospital. DO SO!
What happens if I come to the hospital for decreased fetal movement?
Labor and Delivery staff take decreased fetal movements very seriously. We would never make you feel bad for being seen.
That’s why we are there for you. We always prefer a momma come in and nothing be wrong. The alternative is heartwrenching.
- Non-stress test (NST) -We will put you on the Fetal Heart Monitor to see the baby’s heart rate and pattern.
- A biophysical profile (BPP) -Combo of an ultrasound exam and a non-stress test (NST) to evaluate baby’s heart rate, breathing, movement, muscle tone, and amount of amniotic fluid.
- Contraction stress test (CST) – We put you on the fetal heart monitor, and the fetal heart rate and monitor the pattern in reaction to contractions.
Check out more information in fetal movementfetal movement in this informative post written by another labor nurse!
If you are a first time mom, head over and read our suggestions for what you don’t need.
Just a little Disclaimer: As always, I am just writing my thoughts and learnings. Although I am in fact a labor and delivery RN, This is not medical advice. You should always seek and follow the advice of your caregiver.
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