Pregnancy is a truly incredible time – growing this amazing entity from within, watching your bump grow day by day, rippling as your baby wriggles inside the safety of you. But for all the heart melting moments of pregnancy, there also come the heart-stopping moments. For me, these were always the times when my little girl had been still for what seemed just too long. But how long is too long? An hour can feel like a day, and a day can feel like an eternity. And then how do you know when it’s time to see someone about it?
Reduced baby movements can be the first sign that a baby is in distress. Recent research has shown that around half of women who had a stillbirth said that they had noticed that their baby’s movements had slowed down beforehand.
Worryingly, a recent survey by Tommy’s showed that 52% of women would be worried about looking for help when they notice reduced fetal movements due to a fear of ‘wasting midwife’s time’, a sentiment which I can entirely relate to.
So the best course of action? In pregnancy, trust your instincts and be aware of the importance of monitoring fetal movement and let’s all play our part in raising awareness and empowering women to seek help promptly which could save lives.
Thankfully, this video from Tommy’s does a rather stellar job of helping to make that happen so please watch it, share it and let’s try to make a dent in stillbirth rates which are shockingly high in the UK – (in 2015 we ranked 24th out of 49 high-income countries. For every 220 babies born in the UK, one is stillborn).