A ‘kick chart’ is a graph or grid printed on a piece of paper with spaces to record the daily movements of your baby, usually after about 28 weeks of the pregnancy. Kick charts are mainly used for women who express concern about their baby’s movements.
They aim is to provide a general guideline for how active a baby should be. However, there are no standard criteria used to truly define what sufficient (or insufficient) movement is, making their use quite controversial.
Ultrasound studies of babies’ movement patterns show they can sleep for up to 90% of the time (often for 20 to 75 minute periods) and have active periods of up to 40 minutes at a time. They can also have more ‘active periods’ each day. For example, one study showed they tend to move more between 9pm and 1am during the last couple of weeks of pregnancy.
The charts are aimed at recording your baby’s movements, not just kicks. This means a flutter, elbow, roll, push, jab and stretch all count as ‘kicks’. Also if your baby has some rigorous movements that go ‘kick’, ‘kick’, ‘kick’ within a very short space of time, this is regarded as 3 movements, not just ‘1 group’ of movements.
As a guide, the method used for monitoring a baby’s movements with kick charts called The ‘Cardiff count to ten’ method
This uses a 12 hour period (from 08:00 am till 08:00 pm) to record at least 10 of your baby’s movements.
If your baby has at least 10 movements within this 12 hour period they are thought to be well.
If your baby has not moved in 12 hours or you are concerned, After your evening meal lie quietly on your left side for about 60 minutes after eating (without distractions such watching television or talking to someone) to help you focus just on your baby’s movements. Your baby should move 10 times in one hour (some say 10 times in 2 hours). If you are still concerned you should contact me or the hospital your booked in.
The advice you will be given is to attend the hospital to delivery suite for a ‘CTG’ test. This is involves your baby’s heart rate being continuously monitored for about 20 to 40 minutes. The paper readout is marked every time your baby moves, with their heart rate reacting (ideally by increasing) soon after the movement.
A further test is an ultrasound as part of a ‘biophysical profile’ (or BPP). The ultrasound assesses the blood flow through the baby’s cord (called ‘Doppler’s’) and the health of the placenta.
Your queries are best answered over the phone, our friendly reception staff would be happy to assist you with your enquiry, contact us on +02 8824 4998