Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Late Pregnancy Tests for twins: Kick Counting

Your physician will probably recommend that you begin kick counts some later point in your pregnancy. If your physician does not tell you when to start, you may do it on your own anyway, there are no risks...other than that you might freak yourself out and have trouble sleeping if you tend to worry alot :) I started kick counts around 30 weeks, but you can start as soon as you can reliably and daily feel your babies move - probably around 24 weeks. It is a very simple way to give you peace of mind that your babies are doing well!
Here’s how to do it. The guideline I was given was that I should feel 10 movements (for each baby!) within two hours during your babies' most active time of day. So it is easiest to do this when your babies’ are at their most rambunctious. The ACOG recommends simply keeping track of each and every baby movement you feel from one baby, and when you get to 10, note how long it has been since you began. If it takes longer than 2 hours, they recommend you let your physician know.
The challenging part for us mothers of multiples is deciding which baby kicked! I know with my first twins, I could tell with some movements that it was baby B, but with others, I had no clue. See, baby A was vertex (head down) with her feet up kicking my lungs. Baby B was transverse across the top, or sometimes she was laying transverse the other direction along the top, or sometimes was breech. But every time I had an ultrasound she was different. So I never fully knew if baby A was kicking her feet against my lungs or baby B was turned that way and had one of her little arms or legs there and was kicking her sister back. Unfortunately, it was habit forming as they are still exhibiting this behavior at six years of age!
Reduced fetal activity is an indication that baby might be in distress and potentially not getting enough nutrients and oxygen. So if you notice one of your babies’ activity dropped suddenly one day to the next, you should probably contact your doctor. Some women will say that they feel their babies move less as they get bigger. I agree that I felt less overall movement as the babies got bigger because there was probably less room to move in, but it might be that the movements were just not as strong and pronounced. I would say that you should pay really close attention to make sure you catch all the little flutters as well. But in the end, if you notice a very gradual change over several weeks, I personally chose not worry about it as much as a sudden change over a day or two. Bottom line is: if you aren't counting enough kicks and starting to feel uneasy about it, call your physician. She should be glad to double check that everything is ok and put your mind at ease and you will feel better that you did.