June 21, 2021 2 min read
As a woman, your experience of motherhood starts well before the birth of your child. Unlike dads, moms have a head start to parenthood by nine months. Pregnancy brings along with it the experience of feeling how your little one is: your baby's sleep cycle in your womb, your baby's movements, kicks, and to an extent, what your baby likes and dislikes.
Your baby's general wellbeing is often a concern while in your womb because there's no way to view it. An ultrasound is a solution to the view hindrance, but it is not possible at all times. For ensuring your baby's health daily, it is recommended that you track your baby's movements. Tracking and observing your baby's movements and patterns will help ensure its health while in the womb, preventing the chances of complications and stillbirth.
Baby Kicks: Often called kick counting, it refers to the number of kicks you feel during a specific time. The first kicks are often felt between 16-25 weeks of gestation. The kicks/movements may vary in pattern, strength, and how often they occur, depending on your baby's age.
Now, how to count your baby's kicks?
Choose a particular time of the day when your baby is active. For most women, this is usually one hour after a light meal/snack, which causes an increase in their blood glucose level and/or in the evenings anywhere between 9:00 pm to 1:00 am.
Once you feel that the baby is active, you may choose to lie down on your left (for improved blood circulation) or be in a comfortable position and count the number of movements. Twists, turns, swishes, rolls, and jabs are also counted as kicks. Hiccups are not counted as kicks.
Note down how long it takes for ten movements to be felt. It could take anywhere between a few minutes to 2 hours.
*Overweight women may have difficulty in perceiving kicks. Also, as you get closer to your delivery date with less space for your baby to move, it may be slightly challenging to do the counts.
Each woman should learn the regular pattern of movements of her baby. Counting baby kicks is strongly recommended for high-risk pregnancies. But beginning at 28 weeks, it may be beneficial for all pregnancies.
While ensuring your baby's health, setting aside time each day to count movements will give you time to rest and bond with your baby as well. If maintaining a journal or logbook for your baby's movements makes you anxious, simply paying attention to your baby's movements will help too.
A drastic change in the usual pattern of your baby's kicks could mean your baby may be in distress. If the counts do not follow the usual pattern, do not panic. Consult your healthcare provider right away. Other tests can be done to check your baby's health.
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