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Fetal movement counts

  • You may be asked to keep track of your baby's movements. This is called doing a fetal movement count. Tracking your baby's movements each day gives you a special time topay attention to her as well as check on her well-being.

    A total of 10 or more distinct movements in two hours suggests your baby is doing well.

    • If your baby is moving less than usual, this may be a sign that she is under some stress or that a problem may be developing.
    • If you are worried and do not have at least five movements in one hour, call your health care provider.

    Baby's activity record worksheet (fetal movement counts) can help you record your baby's movements.

    Once a day, record your baby's activity.

    • Choose a time of day when your baby is active. Try to do this about the same time every day. That will make it easier to see your baby's pattern. It also makes it less likely that you will be timing when your baby is sleeping. If you haven't been able to quit smoking, try not to smoke for at least one hour before you start counting. The nicotine in cigarettes decreases the amount of oxygen your baby gets. This can make your baby less active.
    • Choose a quiet place where you can focus on your baby's movements. Lie on your side or sit in a comfortable chair.
    • Write down on the worksheet the time you start counting your baby's movements. Put a check for each time your baby kicks, twists, or turns. Don't count hiccups. Keep track until you have felt 10 movements. Do not count longer than two hours.
    • When your baby has moved 10 times, write down that time. Total how long it took to get the 10 movements.


    Call your health care provider if:

    • Your baby has not moved 10 times in two hours.
    • You notice a major change in your baby's activity.
    • You are worried about your baby's activity level.
  • Free mobile app

    Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond mobile app icon

    Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond is also available as a mobile app for the Apple iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®; the Android smartphone and tablet; and the Kindle Fire.

    The free app includes the same content as the book, along with the ability to:

    • follow baby's kicks and movements
    • time and track contractions, and,
    • after baby is born, track feedings and diaper changes

    Get the Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond app:

    iPhone and iPad app in the Apple Store Android app on Google Play Kindle Fire app

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