I had in my mind that my Easter would be spent cuddling with my child, watching movies about the risen God with her and my husband, and ending my holiday by making cookies after taking Marie to our front yard to hunt for the healthy eggs I would make for her that morning. Unfortunately, the script went a little off of the plan and I ended up spending half of my day in the hospital, being monitored and learning the importance of a simple trick; how to count your baby’s movements.
April Fools Prank
The night before I had lots of painful contractions and in the morning I wasn’t feeling good. My blood pressure was too high and I was dehydrated. My baby wasn’t moving no matter how strong I pushed my belly in order to get her to respond. I got to the hospital with the help of the 911 superheroes and I stayed there for some time as I had to be monitored to make sure I wasn’t in labor.
Why Knowing How To Count Your Baby’s Movements Is Important?
Much stress and time lost could have been avoided if I only knew some tricks on how to count the baby’s movements in order to know if I needed to go see a doctor or not. In my case, it was the best decision to make as my baby only started to move when my blood pressure dropped to a more normal level. Something was going on with her that we will never know for sure. But, from now on I know what to do before trying to ruin my doctor’s holiday by calling him in.
Better Safe Than Sorry
At the hospital, they shared with me a list of tricks and tips describing when to go to the hospital and what to do if you are under the impression that your baby is not moving. Counting the movement is the first step and I will share with you right here what they taught me. It’s important to say that this post has no intention of replacing your doctor’s advice or the simple rule that states “better safe than sorry “. If you feel like you need to see your OB/GYN don’t hesitate. Call them and schedule an appointment so you can be checked immediately.
The intent of this post is merely to give you some information if you want to be prepared for an eventuality like I had this Easter or if you are in your third semester and want to know how to count the baby’s movements in order to be sure that everything is just fine.
The best action to take is to go to the ER, if it’s an emergency and after hours or the Labor & Delivery of your chosen hospital, as I learned later that 911 won’t do much for your baby other than give you a faster ride to the hospital. I don’t know what their policy is on pregnant women, I just know that only when I got to the hospital my baby started to have her heartbeat monitored. Of course, if you are in an emergency, no car can get you to the hospital faster than an ambulance. Calling 911 after, if advised by your OB/GYN is still the best thing to do. Don’t hesitate if this is the case.
Learning How To Count Your Baby’s Movements Can Prevent Stillbirth
One way you can know if the baby is doing well is by recording his/her movements once a day. This is called a Kick Count. Many doctors recommend it as a way to monitor your baby’s health in the third trimester. Usually, you will find that your baby is most active after eating a meal or something sweet. Setting a time daily when you know your fetus is active to count kicks, may help you to identify some serious problems, which can prevent stillbirth. Kick Counts is strongly recommended for high-risk pregnancies, however, knowing how to count the baby’s movements at the beginning of 28 weeks is beneficial in all pregnancies.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that you monitor how long it takes for you to feel 10 kicks. You must be able to feel at least 10 movements within 2 hours. However, this can take much less time.
It’s a good idea to start a notebook or use the cute chart I created that is available right here for you to download so you can keep it for your baby’s scrapbook. In your notes, record the time you feel the first fetal movement, place a checkmark for each movement you feel until you reach 10, then record the time of the last ten movements.
Learn How To Count Your Baby’s Movements
- Start Time 9:00 XXXXXXXXXX
- End Time: 9:32 AM
- Time to Reach: 32 min
How to count kicks
- Choose a time when the baby is active, such as after a meal.
- Sit comfortably or lie on your side
- Write down the first time you feel the baby’s movement.
- Count each movement until the baby has moved 10 times. This can take from 20 minutes to 2 hours.
- Try to do the same time each day.
When to Call Your Provider
- Your baby moves less than 10 times in 2 hours while you are doing the kick counts.
- Your baby moves much less often than the days before.
- You have not felt your baby moving all day.
***Once again this information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional instructions.