LiveWell Minute: Count the Kicks

Count the Kicks is a statewide awareness campaign dedicated to educating expectant parents about the importance of counting their baby’s movements daily during the third trimester of pregnancy.

It is also the goal to reduce Iowa’s stillbirth rate. Stillbirth occurs in one out of every 150 pregnancies nationwide. There are about 200 stillbirths in Iowa each year. Many stillbirths occur at or near full term.

Dr. Erin Lehman, Lakeview Obstetrics and Gynecology says, “Counting and tracking a baby’s movements is a safe and simple way to monitor the well-being of your baby during the third trimester of pregnancies and may prevent a stillbirth.”

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends you begin counting the kicks at your 28th week, or at 26 weeks if you are high risk or pregnant with multiples.

  • Count the kicks every day, preferably at the same time.
  • Pick your time based on when your baby is usually active, such as after a snack or meal.
  • Make sure your baby is awake first; walking, pushing on your tummy or having a cold drink are good wake-up calls.
  • To get started, sit with your feet up or lie on your side. Count each of your baby’s movements as one kick, and count until you reach 10 kicks.

Dr. Lehman says, “Significant changes in your baby’s movement patterns may help identify potential problems with your pregnancy before the baby’s heart rate is affected.”

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