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Kicks Count

Your baby’s kicks count!

Counting your baby’s kicks during pregnancy is an essential and simple way to monitor your baby’s health. Every day after the 24th week of pregnancy, pregnant women should count their baby’s kicks. The goal is 10 kicks in two hours.

Man touching pregnant woman's belly to feel the baby's kick count

Why Is Kick Counting Important?

Many parents want to know what they can do to help have a healthy baby. Counting kicks every day in the third trimester is an easy step. Did you know a baby’s kicks tell us something? It helps moms get to know the personality and movement patterns of her baby. It also helps monitor the baby’s health and may help to prevent stillbirth. Counting kicks during every pregnancy is essential, even if a mom has had healthy babies before. Pregnant women should keep track of their baby’s kicks after the 24th week of pregnancy.

Counting kicks:

  • Is a great way for a pregnant woman to bond with her baby.
  • Is free, easy to do, and doesn’t take long.
  • Helps a pregnant woman get to know the personality and movement patterns of her baby.
  • Helps a pregnant woman know when to call her health care provider and how to share the right information about the baby’s movements.

By doing this every day, a pregnant woman will get to know her baby’s normal pattern within a week or two. She can use the Kicks Count tracker booklet to write down her baby’s daily kicks and discuss them with her health care provider. This way, she will be more likely to notice any changes in a baby’s pattern of movement.

How Do You Count Kicks?

Husband rubbing wife's belly counting their baby's kicks

Remember ...

  • Babies don’t move less toward the end of pregnancy; they move differently.
  • Healthy babies have sleep cycles. A baby will sleep many times a day. Make sure the baby is awake before counting!
  • Babies are most active after a meal, so it’s a good time to count kicks.

Tips on kick counting:

  • Count kicks at the same time every day.
  • Count kicks with an empty bladder.
  • Find a quiet place away from distractions like the TV or other family members.
  • Count kicks lying on your left side, or sitting up if lying down is uncomfortable.
  • Write down the start time and end time.
  • When you count 10 kicks, you’re done!
  • A baby rolling can also count as a baby kick.

What If Moms Don’t Feel 10 Kicks in Two Hours?

If a pregnant woman doesn’t feel 10 kicks in two hours, she should go to the labor and delivery unit at the hospital. Not feeling 10 kicks doesn’t mean something is wrong with the baby, but it is better to be sure. No matter what time of day or day of the week, she should go to the hospital. Tell them, “My baby isn’t moving.” The hospital staff will check on her and the baby to make sure they are both are OK.

If a pregnant woman is confused by kick counting, she can call 2-1-1 or visit Help Me Grow to put her mind at ease.

Examples of Delaware Thrives Kick Counts resources: posters, brochures, facts sheets

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© 2024. Delaware Division of Public Health.