Counting Fetal Movements

What is fetal movement counting?

The unborn baby is called a fetus. The baby’s “kicks,” or movements, are called “fetal movements.” Most pregnant women feel movement by the 20th week of pregnancy.

Your doctor may recommend that you count fetal movements to check on your unborn baby. It is also called “kick counting.” The information will help your doctor know how your baby is doing.

You can count fetal movements every day. It is easy to do and can be done anywhere. You should feel your baby move throughout the day. Your baby may be more active at different times during the day. As the baby grows, the way you feel the baby move may change.

How to count

If recommended by your doctor, count fetal movement at least once every day. The best times are after a meal or the time your baby is usually most active.

You should feel 10 movements within 2 hours. Any activity should be counted — your baby’s movements, kicks, or rolling motions. You can place your hands on your belly or lie on your side to help you feel the movements.

Write down the following information:

  • The date
  • The time when you started counting
  • The number of movements
  • How long it took to feel 10 movements

Most babies move 10 times the first hour. If you feel less than 10 movements in that hour, try to eat something or drink juice. Then count again the next hour. Your baby should continue to be active through the end of your pregnancy.

When should you call your doctor?

Call your doctor if:

  • You have not felt at least 10 fetal movements at the end of the second hour
  • Any time when you do not feel movement and you have followed the counting instructions


Use this chart to keep track of your baby’s daily movements.

      Date         Time        Number of Movements      How Long


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