Fetal Movement Counts

Patient Name: __________________________________________________ Patient Due Date: ____________________

Performing a fetal movement count is highly recommended in high-risk pregnancies, but it is good for every pregnant woman to do. Your caregiver may ask you to start counting fetal movements at 28 weeks of the pregnancy. Fetal movements often increase:

  • After eating a full meal.

  • After physical activity.

  • After eating or drinking something sweet or cold.

  • At rest.

Pay attention to when you feel the baby is most active. This will help you notice a pattern of your baby's sleep and wake cycles and what factors contribute to an increase in fetal movement. It is important to perform a fetal movement count at the same time each day when your baby is normally most active.

HOW TO COUNT FETAL MOVEMENTS

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable area to sit or lie down on your left side. Lying on your left side provides the best blood and oxygen circulation to your baby.

  2. Write down the day and time on a sheet of paper or in a journal.

  3. Start counting kicks, flutters, swishes, rolls, or jabs in a 2 hour period. You should feel at least 10 movements within 2 hours.

  4. If you do not feel 10 movements in 2 hours, wait 2–3 hours and count again. Look for a change in the pattern or not enough counts in 2 hours.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You feel less than 10 counts in 2 hours, tried twice.

  • There is no movement in over an hour.

  • The pattern is changing or taking longer each day to reach 10 counts in 2 hours.

  • You feel the baby is not moving as he or she usually does.

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