Why shouldn’t I count to 10?
Babies’ movements vary from four to 100 every hour and so counting to 10 is very unhelpful.
For a mum who usually feels her baby move 50 times over 12 hours, if the baby reduced their movements to only 20 it could be a sign the baby is in distress. However if she used the count to ten method, she would not seek help as she met the ‘recommended’ number.
Likewise a woman who usually only feels 8, may end up phoning the hospital unnecessarily every day as she never meets the ten required.
The other issue with fixing a set number of fetal movements is there is no way to know what a woman is classing as her baby’s movements. Because it relies on perceptions from individuals rather than an independent monitoring system, there may be major differences between what one mum counts as her baby moving and what another counts as hers.
Therefore the safest and most reliable method of monitoring baby’s movements is to encourage the mum to get to know her baby’s own pattern of movement. She will then be able to determine if her baby has a period of reduced movement.