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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Counting Baby's Movements At Some Time During The Day Is Important

Fetal Movements Occur every day, most moms don't even realize the baby is moving. But your baby does move, and in cases where the movement slows, it has been shown this occurs days before the baby is extremely sick, and thus your ob has time to intervene if you call decreased baby movements to her attention when you notice them. Fetal movements have been studied extensively and for the scientists among us these movements are now classified into 4 states: State 1F is the most quiet, and the baby isn't moving much, and even the heart rate is the calmest. State 4F is the most vigorous of movement, the yes move, the body can move and the heart rate will accelerates. This is the equivalent of being awake after birth, or what I call "play time", and babies spend the most time in 1F or 2F (slightly more awake), and much less time in 4F.  Babies studied with exact counts show that there are approximately 200 movements during the day at 4 and a half months of pregnancy (20 weeks), and by about 32 weeks they move the most: about 575 times a day. By full term babies are slowing down again and they move about 280 times a days based on work done back in 1979 by Sadovsky and coworkers. Once you are far enough along in your pregnancy to detect movements you can begin paying attention to the amount of fetal movement. It's most important to report decreased movement. It is not essential to time this with meals, but some people know that their baby moves the best a certain times of the day. We call this counting kicks, although other movements are probably felt as often as actual kicks. Many gynos won't start their patients on fetal kick counts until their third trimester of pregnancy. Other providers rely on ultrasound or fetal heart rate monitoring to confirm what you are feeling But if you begin here's our recommendation as to how to do these counts:
1.      Set aside a time of day when your baby is most active.  It is best after you have just been eating a meal or were drinking fluids.
2.      Rest on your left side, you can just be tilted to the left if you would like.
3.      Write down each movement as you feel it. Kicks, flutters, rolls, etc., all count. You do not have to chart the type of movement, they are all considered signs the baby is moving.  For some women, it helps to place your hands on your abdomen to feel what the little one is doing, and yes, your partner can help count too!
4.      When you have recorded 10 movements, you may stop keeping track for the day.
5.      If you do not have 10 fetal movements in one hour, continue to count for one more hour.
6.      If you do not feel ANY fetal movement after one hour, call your physician immediately.
7.      If you do not have 10 movements after two hours of counting, call your physician or prenatal care provider.

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