Counting kicks inevitably becomes a pregnant woman's part-time job as she nears her due date. In the third trimester, or around 28 weeks, moms-to-be will start to realize some of those funny feelings in their belly aren't gas (or maybe some of it still is). The baby is moving. The baby is kicking, twirling, rolling and acting like a mini soccer player or ninja. But what happens when it's show time? For those women who are counting kicks religiously, they might start to wonder, " does the baby stop moving when you go into labor?" And what about right before labor? Will they still feel kicks? Or will the movement be different?
OK, let's go back to counting kicks for a minute, as it is an essential part of making sure your baby is OK. According to American Pregnancy, pregnant women are instructed by their doctors around 28 weeks to "count kicks" or track baby movements per hour. Being observant of your baby's regular movements will help you determine if something isn't right. Generally speaking, a moving baby is a decent indication that conditions are good in the womb. The same site noted that if a baby is not moving as usual or not performing the medically recommended kicks per hour, it can be a red flag that something isn't right.
Counting kicks, or fetal movement as it's medically called, can be fun and a way to pseudo bond with your baby. But it can also drive pregnant moms absolutely crazy. Is the baby kicking too much? Too little? Did I lose track? According to What To Expect,you're supposed to set time aside twice a day to count your baby's movements during the third trimester. Count until you get to 10, note it, and start over. But if you haven't felt 10 kicks in an hour — don't have to freak out. What To Expect noted that you should take a break, drink or eat something sugary, lie down, and try counting again.
As your baby drops down into position before labor and delivery, those kicking patterns may change again. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists noted that your baby will continue to move right before labor and during labor. Additionally, Parents noted that baby's head is pressing down into your cervix during labor in an attempt to squeeze through.
As a general rule, a pregnant woman who is close to her due date or is starting labor will continue to feel the baby moving. However, the ways and frequency in which the baby moves may be different than just a couple of weeks prior. The movement will also vary woman to woman, and baby to baby. If something feels off with your baby's movement, even during the final push, make sure to let your doctor know.