Kick counting in pregnancy

Feeling my baby move was one of the best things about pregnancy (and there wasn’t much I liked!). Towards the end, Jacob did these huge movements that were visible from the outside, and friends and family loved to feel them. One of the scariest times during pregnancy was at 30 weeks, when I had an episode of reduced fetal movement. Kick counting is so important.

Kick counting in pregnancy

Patterns of movement

I had an anterior placenta (where the placenta is at the front of the uterus), so started noticing movement relatively late—I think it was about 22 weeks. It quickly ramped up though and there was a definite pattern. Throughout the day I’d feel the odd movement, but after lunch there would always be a flurry of movements. I’d sit at my desk and baby would kick, roll and generally wriggle. The evening was another time I’d feel lots of movement—especially once I’d got into bed.

On the day I noticed reduced fetal movements it was pretty hot. I’d been busy all morning and then had a lunch meeting with my boss. We went to the local pub and sat outside in the sun. Once I got back into the office, I realised I was a bit overheated, so I had a glass of water and put my desk fan on. While trying to cool down, it suddenly dawned on me that baby wasn’t moving. As I said, after lunch was the time he’d have a little dance party in there. I told myself it was fine, and tried to get on with work. After 30 minutes I still hadn’t felt anything and I started to think calling my midwife for advice might be a good idea.

I found the number for the community team but it just went to voicemail. I didn’t want to leave a message so I hung up.After a few more minutes I decided to Google what to do, thinking I’d get some advice to drink something sugary to kick-start the sleepy baby. Fortunately, I came across the Kicks Count website. This was the advice I read:

“If you think your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped, contact your midwife or maternity unit immediately (it is staffed 24 hours, 7 days a week). Do not put off calling until the next day to see what happens.

Do not worry about phoning, it is important for your doctors and midwives to know if your baby’s movements have slowed down or stopped.”

Maternity assessment unit

I immediately called the maternity unit at my local hospital. The midwife asked me when I had last felt movement. I wasn’t sure–I couldn’t be certain that I’d felt anything that day. The more I tried to think the less certain I was. The midwife asked how quickly I could get to hospital from work. When I said an hour, she asked if there was a closer hospital I could go to. That’s when I realised this could be a serious problem. I left work and went straight to a nearer hospital in a panic. The whole way there I was crying.

At the maternity assessment unit I had a breakdown to the midwife on the front desk. She whisked me off into an assessment room where I was strapped to a monitor. Hearing the heartbeat straight away was so reassuring. A student took my temperature and other observations which were all normal. Within a few minutes the baby started kicking the monitor! They needed a 20-minute heart beat trace, but I ended up staying for over an hour because the baby became so active he kept moving out of range. Typical. I can’t praise the midwives I saw highly enough. They were professional, calm and reassuring,

Everything was fine with the heartbeat, but I ended up being referred for an urgent scan the next day because the midwife measured my bump as 4 centimetres small. At the scan all was perfect, but baby had turned round, so perhaps that was why I’d felt less movement.

Kick counting

I’d strongly urge any pregnant woman to take a look at the Kicks Count website. It has loads of information about baby movements, and what you should be looking for. The overwhelming message is that it’s important to know whats normal for your baby, and if there’s any change in that, contact your midwife immediately. Do not wait. I felt reluctant to contact them as I thought I’d be wasting their time, but at the hospital they reiterated that they would much rather I came in if I was worried. Reduced movements can be a sign of something seriously wrong, so the sooner you get there the more potential there is for treatment. Don’t take the risk.

Pink Pear Bear
MaternityMondays
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14 Comments

  1. February 5, 2017 / 8:55 pm

    I LOVE this post 🙂 as moms it’s so easy to just push our worries aside but it is important to pay attention to our babies and our bodies. And as a nurse I have NEVER felt annoyed with someone who came in because they weren’t sure or just didn’t know. How would you!! So glad your experience was so positive!! Glad I found you on #blogstravaganza

    • Kelly
      February 9, 2017 / 10:37 pm

      Thank you for reading! I’m glad nurses like you exist! 🙂

  2. February 6, 2017 / 10:15 am

    I can’t remember the pattern of movement with my pregnancy as it was such a long time ago but I remember a few times there being a lack of movement so went in to be assessed for a few times. Can be scary but needs to be done. #BigPinkLink

    • Kelly
      February 9, 2017 / 10:39 pm

      It’s such a scary time. So reassuring when you get the all clear. Thanks for reading!

  3. February 6, 2017 / 1:48 pm

    This is such an important issue, well done you for raising awareness! There were issues with my first and lack of movement and so I was induced to be on the safe side. The more people that know about counting kicks the better! Thanks so much for linking up to #Blogstravaganza with such a great post xx

    • Kelly
      February 9, 2017 / 10:41 pm

      Thanks for reading. I wanted to raise awareness because I had no idea it was such a big deal until it actually happened! Glad all was ok with you in the end xx

  4. February 6, 2017 / 3:25 pm

    I am ready and waiting with my Kicks Count app this time around – and I have a wristband too. I am so glad that charities like this exist – they didn’t when I had my daughter 10 years ago x #MaternityMondays

    • Kelly
      February 9, 2017 / 10:41 pm

      The wristband looks like a great idea. Thanks for reading!

  5. February 6, 2017 / 4:30 pm

    Very important message. Never take a chance with your little one.#MaternityMondays

  6. February 6, 2017 / 6:55 pm

    Kicks Count is such a great charity, I follow them on fb and they do loads to help pregnant mums understand the importance of baby movements. Alex hardly moved at all during my pregnancy, he was active first thing in the morning and the nothing until about 8pm. It always worried me but midwife reassured me that was just his pattern and if his pattern stopped I was to phone immediately to get checked. Like you said, they’d rather you get checked than not phone them and something bad happens xx #maternitymondays

    • Kelly
      February 9, 2017 / 10:43 pm

      Yes, it’s so important to recognise the pattern of movement. I think that’s why they moved away from saying a certain number of movements meant baby was ok, because it depends on the individual baby! Some babies move more and some less. As long as it’s consistent. Thanks for reading! X

  7. February 6, 2017 / 7:01 pm

    Oh it is so scary and I often think the more you try to think about how long you last felt the baby move, the worse it can seem. I have always been told that no midwife will think you are overreacting and it is better to err on the side of caution. Thanks for linking up #MaternityMondays

  8. February 8, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    Absolutely terrifying. I had the same as you, I’d had a cold sugary drink and lain on my side waiting and nothing, in a panic I went in to the maternity unit and my babe woke up the minute the monitor went on and started trying to kick it off! So scary though. Thanks for being an important part of the #bigpinklink

    • Kelly
      February 9, 2017 / 10:45 pm

      It’s typical! Little monkeys preparing us for a lifetime of worry! Thanks for reading 🙂

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