Counting kicks in the third trimester is a great, non-invasive way for you to bond with your baby, monitor their health, and get to know his or her personality before they’re even born! Non-profit organization Healthy Birth Day, Inc. created the Count the Kicks campaign nearly a decade ago after research showed that tracking baby movements can lead a mom to save her baby if she notices a change in movement and tells her provider when she notices a difference. The campaign saved three babies within ten weeks last year, all because moms were tracking movement and spoke up when they noticed a reduction in their babies’ movements.
Count the Kicks and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend you start counting at 28 weeks of pregnancy, or 26 weeks in a high-risk pregnancy. Here’s how you do it:
The free Count the Kicks app will help you record the amount of time it takes your baby to get 10 movements and will save your kick counting sessions. The Count the Kicks app is available in English and Spanish, counts for single babies and twins, sends a daily text or calendar reminder, and can be used in consultation with your doctor. You can also log your times into a manual Count the Kicks chart.
Baby movements do not slow down at the end of pregnancy. While babies may run out of room for somersaults, they still move all the way up to and even during labor. Your baby’s movement pattern (how long it takes your baby to get to 10 movements) should remain the same throughout your pregnancy.
Since Count the Kickslaunched in Iowa in 2008, the state’s stillbirth rate has decreased 26 percent while the rest of the country’s stillbirth rate has remained relatively stagnant. Join the powerful movement by downloading the free app during pregnancy and tell every pregnant mom you know about the importance of tracking fetal movement in the third trimester. You never know who you might save!