Kick Count

We all know what  a kick count is. You count the kicks your baby does.

A worried pregnant woman at 25 weeks of pregnancy posts to a forum saying my baby hasn’t kicked in a few hours. should I worry?

Majority of replies are: no the kick counts doesn’t start till 28 weeks. It’s normal for baby not to move so much this early on.

Another woman at 39 weeks of pregnancy posts a similar post

Her replies are: No babies slow down at the end. They are readying for labour. They have less room.

Well I’m here to tell you in very simple and rather crude terms that’s BULLSHIT. That is how strongly and how frustrated I am with the whole thing.

If you’ve been following my blog you’ll be able to remember Elva died before 28 weeks. What happened the day before? She had reduced movement. Did I notice? yes I did. Why didn’t I seek help? Because I hadn’t been keeping a kick count and thought I was being paranoid!

So how do you know if baby is slow? By keeping a daily count and comparing them. If you click home and resources there is a page dedicated to kick count charts and advice. I will be adding to it over time so keep checking back. Note down your babies routine. Elva often had quiet days that’s what I put that day down to. Knowing what I know now IF I had been keeping better record I would have raised concern with my caregiver weeks before. I would have been in hospital that Thursday her movements slowed down. I wouldn’t have been being told the next day I had to deliver my dead daughter.

I appreciate that babies movements don’t always get into a routine before 28 weeks and it can be hard to monitor babies before that time due to their size and having more space in the womb. However, babies do move before 28 weeks, babies move daily before 28 weeks and often have enough of a routine to pick up a problem.

If in doubt get seen!

I wish I had known how to monitor kicks properly. It’s the first pregnancy I have done it and assumed just knowing was enough. If I had done more research I would have known things weren’t right.

ANY reduction in movement to normal should be monitored. Max of 2 hours to monitor and if things still haven’t picked up call your care provider. DO NOT WAIT IT OUT.

Rapid movement can be a sign of distress. It’s hard to know what rapid movement is but if it follows from reduced movement or is prolonged again call. Elva picked up movement towards the end of day then had a ‘mad wiggle’ for about 20 minutes before I never felt her again. I thought this meant she had perked up. In hindsight I see it was either her going breech in distress or the movement itself was her distress, By that time it was too late for her but it is still something you should monitor.

Reduced movement is much more of an indicator. Babies have quiet sleepy days but should still move. Hiccups are only action not considered a movement as it is an involuntary thing.

There are tricks to get a baby to move. Food, cold drink, fizzy drink, sugar in form of food, prodding, jumping about, laying on left side, bath you will know what gets your baby to move more. If the usual trigger doesn’t work. GET SEEN.

The next thing that drives me insane is babies towards term move less as they have less space. NO NO NO NO NO! Yes they have less space, but they also have less water as it begins to decrease ready for labour. But they DO NOT I repeat they DO NOT move any less at 40 weeks than they did at 14. The movement changes. It may be less big boots more a leg stretch and foot pokes into you, less mad wiggle more shift about and roll over. However they will continue to move and due to their size you will still feel it.

A baby having reduced movements at term needs to be seen just as much as a 25 weeks baby. DO NOT BE FOBBED OFF! Keep on with your kick counts.

Referring to a thought I had and made comment elsewhere about how do midwives know your baby is ok without use of an image. They don’t 100% know however you tracking movements, any pain, any unusual discharge or generally feeling unwell is a good way for them to see how things are from a point of view they don’t have. They can then track baby with fetal doppler, measuring your tum for growth and doing usual checks.

It is important you trust your care givers and it’s important you feel heard and respected.

My previous pregnancy I didn’t feel heard and as a result I didn’t voice myself this time. It wasn’t about distrust it was about being led to believe previously things were ok and not wanting to burden anyone. It is their job to be burdened, they do this job knowing what is involved and trust me there are more paranoid women visiting them out there. Probably all the rainbow mummies!

It was a huge source of stress for me not knowing what amount of kicks a baby was meant to have. There is no number its about knowing your babies routine. How do I know that?! I would wake daily stressed and anxious hoping I would know she had kicked enough. Going to bed every night glad she had and seemed well. Including that fateful Thursday. The Friday was only day I woke not worried.

After the news I vowed next time  I would do all I could to know my babies routine by charting it from the day I feel the baby kick to the moment before they arrive.

Another thing I’ve learnt since Elva it isn’t normally normal to not feel a baby kick in labour. I didn’t know this as my boys never moved once in labour. This is something I will raise with my caregiver and goes to show you literally need to count the kicks up till that little foot emerges safe and well, because if you’re not careful it will lie limp and still on your hand never to kick again.




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