WARNING: Infant loss is mentioned in this blog post.
I am the mother of 4, 3 who are with me and one who rests in paradise. My 3rd child was stillborn at 39 weeks gestational age due to missed Preeclampsia. There were so many missed warning signs that lead up to her death. Many of these signs were overlooked and eventually, my daughter succumbed. One of the noticed changes was her movement patterns. I did everything possible to increase her kicks: extra cups of orange juice, extra bowls of Alphabits (her favorite cereal), and fearing that it wasn’t sugary enough I did sneak in Frosted Flakes, and extra trips to see my OB. I was told that since I was nearing 40 weeks my daughter was completely normal. I had never heard of kick-counting or even simply monitoring Annaya’s movements.
There’s a loaded question that practically EVERY pregnant mother is asked as she spirals through her third trimester. “Is your baby moving?” Anything is fluid shifts, so your answer will always be yes. How do you gauge your baby’s pattern of movement? Let me tell you how!
As soon as you are able to clearly feel your baby’s kicks or movements, usually around 25 or 26 weeks, it’s time to begin to count those kicks. Kick counting not only charts your baby’s well-being but also gives you some downtime to intentionally bond with your baby before he or she is placed on your chest after birth.
Kick counting is quite easy.
- Pick a time when your baby is normally active. When possible, do this at the same time every day.
- Sit with your feet up on the couch or get more comfortable by lying on your left side. Grab a refreshing glass of water to continue to hydrate.
- Count each movement as one (1) kick and time the space between movements. This could take a half hour or possibly even two (2) hours. Remember all babies are different and you’re attempting to determine the pattern for the child you are currently carrying.
- Keep a journal or small notebook with your daily kick-counting notes. If the pattern has significantly changed, IMMEDIATELY alert your medical practitioner. Make sure you have your logs from each week to support you.
That’s it! Wasn’t that simple?!!! There’s even an app that makes this even easier for you by allowing you to save each session. The app and more information about kick counting can be found here . Counting Kicks saves lives!