Counting Kicks Might Save Your Baby

Every day in the United States, 70 babies are stillborn. It’s a scary thought, but if you’re pregnant there is something simple you can do to help prevent it. As simple, in fact, as counting to 10.

A study completed in 2005 and funded by the International Stillbirth Alliance found that half of women who had experienced stillbirth noticed the baby’s movement decrease several days before it happened. The Kick Count method, endorsed by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, helps track significant changes in your unborn baby’s movements so that potential problems come to light early.

Kick Count doesn’t require any special tools – beyond pencil, paper and a watch – but you can download a free chart from the BabyKick Alliance at  to help you keep track.

Beginning at around your 28th week of pregnancy, take time out around the same time each day to record how long it takes your baby to complete 10 kicks, turns, twists or rolls. Choose a time when your baby is most likely to be active – for example, after a meal. A healthy baby should move 10 times in under two hours, though most will finish in under 30 minutes. What’s most important is getting an idea of what’s normal for your baby.

If your baby doesn’t move 10 times in two hours, or if you notice any significant change in your baby’s movement patterns, it’s time to call your doctor, who may want to perform tests to check on your baby’s condition.

– Christina Elston