Pregnancy Testing

Fetal Movement Counting

Fetal movement counting, also known as fetal kick counting, is an easy indicator of your baby's well-being that can be done at home. You may have it recommended to you if you have pregnancy induced hypertension or gestational diabetes. Basically, it is counting how many times your baby moves.

What you need to know

There is no defined value to the number of movements your baby makes in a specified amount of time, but if your baby does not move for 12 hours you will need to contact your midwife.

Obesity decreases the ability of mothers to feel distinct movements and so may make fetal movement counting inaccurate.

You are looking at the overall trend with fetal movement counting. You will be paying attention to any trend toward decreasing the number of movements over time, or increasing the amount of time it takes to make a specific number of movements.

Procedure

One way to perform the count is to select a start time and begin counting distinct movements. When you reach ten movements mark the time again. You will measure the amount of time it takes for 10 movements every day.

Another way to perform the count is to select a start time and begin counting distinct movements. At the end of one hour mark the number of movements felt. Repeat this two or three times per day to make a record of the movements.

References

Froen, J.F., Heazel, A.E.P., Tveit, J.V.H., Saastad, E., Fretts, R.C., and Flenday, V. (2008). Fetal movement assessment. Seminars in Perinatology 32(4):243-6.

Mangesi, L. and Hofmeyer, G.J. (2007). Fetal movement counting for assessment of fetal wellbeing. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007(1).