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count the kicks is making my anxiety go mad

(9 Posts)
confusedbumbo Tue 29-Dec-15 09:44:48

Background: I suffer from really bad anxiety and OCD with intrusive thoughts, pregnancy has made this worse inevitably (currently 30 weeks with my first). I've tried various things over the years for the anxiety including mindfulness, counselling, CBT, medication, etc etc...nothing really works long term for me. Exercise helps but unfortunately I have quite bad pelvic girdle pain at the moment so it's hard for me to get out and about.

anyway - this count the kicks thing is really doing my head in as I don't feel like my baby really has a 'regular' pattern yet. I have read that it's not the number of kicks but the pattern of movement which is important but he doesn't seem to have that really. He generally (but not always) moves about first thing in the morning when I wake up (after prompting with breakfast etc) and generally throughout the day when I eat/drink, and in the evening. But not always - sometimes he's quiet for ages.

I have no idea how to 'monitor' his movements or if I should be writing them down, or when to worry, or what. It's driving me mad to be honest and I'm sure all this anxiety can't be good for him.

All the websites tell you to contact your midwife urgently with reduced movement, but I already went in once at 26 weeks and was basically just made to feel I'd wasted their time. They know I am over-anxious so I don't feel like I get taken very seriously.

does anyone else have this? How do you stop yourself going mad? Really don't know how I'm going to get through the next ten weeks at this rate (and don't get me started on how I know I'll be after baby is born!!)

lovemakespeace Tue 29-Dec-15 10:05:03

Hello, I don't have anything very useful to say I just really feel for you so I wanted to sympathise.

I don't suffer from anxiety (but my DB does and I did have post natal anxiety after my first child so I know a little of how awful it can be) but I still find the whole movement thing very stressful! This is my third baby. My first hardly ever moved, my second was very active and this one (26 weeks) seems to be somewhere in between. I go long periods without feeling him/her though. It's so hard because noone can help you / reassure you really, it's all down to the woman. Lots of pregnancy and motherhood is like that!!

I'm not sure what to suggest. Sometimes if I think I have gone a long time (like pretty much the whole day) I will sit or lie down and really focus on the baby and I know as my lazy son got bigger I could really give him a good poke and he would usually begrudingly move a little (he is the most delightful laid back little guy now by the way).

You should never feel bad about calling the midwives, that is what they are there for.

Also, sometimes this reassures me a little - this whole pregnancy malarkey is a bit of a mystery to the medical profession in my opinion. It is all a miracle, and if, in the very unlikely event that something did happen, it would never ever be your fault. Growing a baby is a visceral thing, and whilst we can do all we can to make them safe, our "head" contribution and actions is a very very small part. Hope that makes sense.

Congratulations on your baby boy!

toohardtothinkofaname Tue 29-Dec-15 10:22:20

Hey OP.

I got a wristband from the charity which you move a counter along on each time you feel a separate episode of movement; it's helped me feel a lot calmer & in control.

You should never be made to feel bad about getting movements checked; were the midwives really arsey with you or were you projecting your own worries that you were wasting their time onto them? Regardless, always be firm & insist on checks if you're worried.

strangerjo Tue 29-Dec-15 11:02:34

My midwife was adamant that I don't count the kicks ("you'll drive yourself mad") but just pay attention that he's moving regularly. I'm 30wks, baby has no discernible pattern other than moving every morning when I wake up, and after I eat. His other movements during the day are totally random but he's very active. So I'm just checking he moves when I eat and that it's more than 10 clear movements.

fourlegstwolegs Tue 29-Dec-15 11:13:52

I think as long as you feel 10 distinct movements every two hours, all is well. I know how you feel - its such a stressful time. Some (healthcare professionals) say the baby should not sleep more than 90 mins at a time, others say 50 mins - so best thing is just to try to note 10 movements in each 2 hour period.

scaredmum2be Tue 29-Dec-15 11:24:48

Hi. I suffer from anxiety (health anxiety mainly combined with general anxiety) which has got a lot worse during pregnancy. I am 28+3 weeks pregnant today and have been thinking about the same thing as my baby has no pattern to monitor.
I also went in at 26 weeks and they listened into the heartbeat as they said I was to early for the monitoring which is done after 28 weeks. They found her heartbeat easily and she even kicked the doppler whilst their.
I am finding it hard not to be paranoid but as long as I get some movement each day I am happy and a few decent kicks. However I can not tell the difference between a kick and hiccup as they say not to monitor hiccups. I do have a high anterior placenta which I know can mask movements a bit. Also went for a 4d scan the other day and she was head down with her feet on her forehead facing inwards so kind of explained why I can't feel a lot.
Never feel bad about getting movements checked out. No matter how nasty they are that is their job. it makes me so angry midwives still treat women as an inconvenience. All mine have been so lovely. The ladies on the phone at the MAU and the ones I saw in the hospital and it makes me sad that their not all that nice.

Congrats on your little boy smile

Me624 Tue 29-Dec-15 13:41:40

I don't suffer from anxiety but I am also 30 weeks and not really noticing a distinct pattern. Usually there is movement in the morning when I wake up, before I go to sleep at night, and after eating, but apart from that it's random. I'm not really concerned though because every time I think hm I haven't felt anything for a while, he inevitably starts moving not long afterwards. I've read on here lots that if you think you haven't felt anything for a while, you should drink a cold sugary drink and lie down on your side and really concentrate on feeling anything.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 29-Dec-15 13:54:44

Many midwives are against specifically counting kicks, as it can make people with no menatl health issues anxious, let alone those with pre-existing issues.

The NICE guidelines are also against formal kick counting as they found it made no difference in out comes.

What is important is to be mindful of your babies usual movements, and never be afraid to get checked if you are worried.

CarShare Tue 29-Dec-15 14:32:09

I often worry about how much my baby moves too (even if it's more than usual- I worry she's in distress even though I have no evidence other than strong kicks to suggest this). She can go for a few hours and not kick so ten kicks every 2 hours has never happened in her case. The midwife just said to note a pattern which is generally when I'm hungry, after food, in the evening and a couple of times over night.
I went in at 32 weeks for reduced movements- she was absolutely fine and the midwives at the hospital couldn't have been nicer and told me to come back at any stage I was the slightest bit concerned. You should definitely do the same- it's their job to take your concerns seriously and look after you and your baby.
I find mindfulness (I use the app Breathe) helps with my anxiety and keeping as busy as possible. Hard with the PGP, I realise. Have a chat with the GP or a (nice) midwife to see what other support is available and be kind to yourself.

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