I was looking back through my blog and I don’t think I ever have told the story of how kick counting saved my baby’s life.
I don’t tell this story to scare you, I tell it to let you know what you could do if your baby isn’t moving as much today.
What is Kick Counting and is it important?
I want to empower you so you can have a tool to know how your baby is doing.
I was on bedrest, starting at 25 weeks with my first son, Devon. I had plenty of time to do kick counts. This is when you keep track of how many kicks/movements (not including hiccups) you feel in an hour. It typically takes less than an hour, because you stop tracking once you reach 10 kicks. If you do it the same time every day, it gives you a pretty good idea of how active your baby tends to be at that time of day. If you notice an drop in activity, it could be a signal that something may be up with your baby.
Even though I had plenty of time being on bedrest, I did a different idea one of my friends told me. Each time you eat, count 3 distinct movements. Once you have, you are done. This was super easy, as babies are usually pretty active after you eat. (I have never seen this anywhere else and it is not the correct way to do kick counts, so I am not recommending it.)
I woke up and my baby wasn’t moving!
At 34 weeks pregnant after 9 weeks of bedrest, I woke up and ate my breakfast.
After awhile (probably 30 min) I realized that Devon hadn’t moved yet!
What should I do?
I knew that my baby’s movements were one of the only ways to know how he was doing in there. So I took a few steps to see if he would “wake up”
- I drank some juice, still no movements
- I put an ice pack on my tummy, still no movements
I called the OB in a panic.
They told me to drink more juice and monitor for another hour.
My intuition was saying something is WRONG and I wish I had pressed the issue and said, “NO, I am coming in NOW.”
Call your OB or Midwife right away
Also I wish I had called my OB RIGHT AWAY, then the first hour I had done things on my own, would have been the hour I was doing what my OB had suggested.
But I did what they said and an hour later there were still no movements. By now it had been 2 hours without movement. I called back and they set up a non-stress test for me after lunch.
I was so scared, I thought that I had lost him. My husband gave me a blessing and said that Devon would be be OK and that he would come when he was ready.
Going in for a Non-Stress Test
We got to the monitoring place early and then had to wait, because they were at lunch.
For the non-stress test they monitor contractions and the baby’s heartrate.
Once we got attached to all the monitors for the NST, I was so happy to hear Devon’s heartbeat and I assumed all was well.
The nurse buzzed my tummy a few times because he was “sleeping” I didn’t know then, but it was bad news that his heart rate didn’t change at all with the buzzer. I had some pressure waves and his heart rate dropped with each one. With both those things, they knew that he was under distress.
I was told to head over to the hospital ASAP and he was born, via emergency cesarean about 30 minutes after getting there. (You can read his whole birth story here.) (You can read more about why this was truly an emergency in the comment section.)
Being aware of my baby’s movements saved his life!
I am glad that I did my simple way of keeping track of his movements.
However, if I had been doing kick counts the official way, I may have noticed sooner that there was a decrease in movements and may have been able to have him sooner!
I found it interesting in researching kick counting that:
Significant changes in the fetal movement pattern may help identify potential problems with your pregnancy before the baby’s heart rate is affected
Your Intuition is Powerful
I had a mom on the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group who mentioned she was worried because her baby wasn’t as active as usual. I suggested she contact her care provider and go in and get checked out. She did and the baby looked fine. The mom posted the next day with the update but said she was still worried and the baby was still not very active (unusual for her baby) I suggest that she call her care provider and insist on being seen again. I reminder her that her intuition was more powerful then their machines! She did go back in that day and this time the monitors picked up the baby’s distress and her baby was born via cesarean that day.
Trust your intuition! This is the biggest thing I have learned in mothering. It is a powerful tool we have and it can start in pregnancy. Trust your baby too – he/she can communicate with you via their movements!
When my friend lost her baby, I knew I NEEDED to tell moms what to do.
I wrote about that experience here.
Tools for Kick Counting
BabyKick Kick Trak – This is a tool you can use to keep track of your baby’s kicks. It also can be used to keep track of contractions.
There are also many Apps for different phones to do kick counting on.
2 I found are
Or you can always use paper and pencil. 😉
I hope this post encourages you to take the time to pay attention to your baby’s movements every day!
If you want to learn more about kick counting visit Count the Kicks. It has great information.