The kick count is a method used by a pregnant woman to monitor the health and developmental progress of her unborn baby.
It works by counting the number of movement the foetus makes. These movements can include kicks, jabs, twists and turns but hiccups are not classed as a foetal movement.
A woman can keep a written record of these movements or simply rely on her natural instinct and understanding of her baby's rhythms.
Towards the end of pregnancy, at around 36 weeks onwards, movements begin to slow down due to the lack of space experienced by the baby.
Therefore, it is around this time that counting kicks is particularly useful as it can provide a good indicator of the baby's overall health and development at a time when movement naturally decreases.
While there is no maximum or minimum number of kicks, as a general rule a woman should feel a number of good movements every day. This, combined with her instinct and experience, should help determine whether or not there is cause for concern.
However, as a general rule, a woman should feel a number of good movements every day. If she fails to feel any movements in a 24 hour period, or movement suddenly decrease dramatically, she should contact her midwife straightaway; although it is likely to be the case that all is still well.