Obstetrics Book

Developmental Disorder


Fetal Movement Count

Aka: Fetal Movement Count, Fetal Kick Count, Maternal Assessment of Fetal Activity, Cardiff Count-To-Ten Chart
  1. See Also
    1. Fetal Assessment
    2. Fetal Testing Indications
    3. Fetal Heart Tracing
  2. Epidemiology
    1. Test sensitive for fetal well-being after 28 weeks
  3. Precautions
    1. Fetal Kick Counts are no longer recommended in United States
    2. Fetal Kick Counts result in increased patient anxiety, additional triage visits without improvement in fetal outcomes
  4. Physiology of normal third trimester fetal movement
    1. Fetus spends 10% of its time making gross movements
      1. Active fetal periods last 40 minutes
      2. Inactive fetal periods last 20 minutes (<75 minutes)
    2. Fetal activity peaks with maternal Hypoglycemia
      1. Usually occurs between 9 pm and 1 am
      2. Activity not increased after meals or Glucose load
  5. Technique
    1. Patient self monitors kick counts daily at home
    2. Count performed at same time every day
      1. Choose a time of day that fetus is most active
      2. Consider performing after stimulating activity
        1. After walking or Exercise
    3. Lie on left side in comfortable location
    4. Count fetal movements to a count of 10 in one hour
  6. Management of Inadequate kick count
    1. Fetal Assessment (Nonstress Test) needed immediately
  7. References
    1. Campbell (1982) Am J Obstet Gynecol 142:363 [PubMed]
    2. Pearson and Weaver (1976) BMJ 1:1305 [PubMed]
    3. Gabbe (1996) Obstetrics, Churchill, p. 336

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