To think these new guidelines on fetal movements may cause a lot of undue worry.

(71 Posts)
scottishegg Mon 06-May-13 18:06:20

Hi all, I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with my third child, I already have a DS who is 5 and a DD who is 2.
With both my previous pregnancies my midwives have told me that as long as I was getting 10 fetal kicks/ movements a day then not to worry.
My DS was very active in the womb however my DD wasnt an active baby at all ( she makes up for it now though!!) and I literally only got between 10/20 movement a day if I was lucky.
With this current pregnancy I have been told that the baby needs to move 10 times an hour or without a doubt they definately need to move 10 times within 2 hours or you need to seek medical advice, to me this puts undue worry on mothers especially if they have been feeling frequent movements and seems like it may put pressure on the NHS/ midwife services. I dont understand why they have changed their views on fetal movement, I appreciate that it could possibly save lives and I appreciate that even if this change helps one baby then there is a benefit but I am just wondering why after all these years they have changed their policy which has seemed to work well in the past.

MoominsYonisAreScary Tue 07-May-13 13:57:58

unique yes I should have said some pcts, I was actually due for one at 24 weeks, it was the earlier from 16 weeks that I didn't fit criteria for.

Same with cervical stitches although luckily I fit criteria for that in my next pg due to my consultant attempting a rescue stitch with the baby I lost. The consultant a saw the first day said it was too late to try.

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 07-May-13 13:47:24

Labtest, your post has given me chills.

I'm so sorry for your loss thanks

labtest Tue 07-May-13 13:41:54

I wasnt told to count movements but when I was overdue with my first child I did complain of movements slowing down and was told this was normal as the baby prepares for birth. However,it wasnt normal and when I was 9 days overdue I went to be checked out as had felt no movement at all that morning. A scan revealed my daughter had died. I was told to come back two days later to be induced.
I really urge all pregnant women to check out any decrease in movement and insist on a foetal heart trace if necessary. Don't think you are wasting anyone's time or overreacting.

But then the same midwife dismissed my itchy legs and other symptoms when I had pre-eclampsia too.

When I was pregnant with dd, all movement stopped on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. I didn't have a clue if that was normal or not. I hadn't been told anything about movement.

So I waited till Monday and rang my midwife. She told me not to worry and to keep my pre arranged appointment for the next day.

Within the hour of the appointment I had been transferred to hospital and had an emergency c-section at 28 weeks.

So I think the more info the better because I had NONE.

When I was pregnant with DD, I could have easily count 20 movements an hour, she was a proper fidget. Currently 21 weeks with what seems to be a fairly lazy relaxed baby so far. Certainly not managing 10 an hour, but my fab midwive has discussed this with me, and advised me that if I'm worried that it's less than usual, to sit quietly, drink a glass of very cold water and give it a few minutes to see if I get kicked. If not, call her immeadiately.

All medical guidelines are sweeping generalisations. I'd rather the advice err on the side of caution. Better to have it checked than to assume everythings ok, even if it's just to be told that actually 10 kicks a day is normal for this pregnancy.

Fakebook Tue 07-May-13 11:56:35

Like you OP, my dd was a lazy baby inside. The sonographers were worried at her lack of movement in 3 scans as she hadn't moved from the same position for 2 weeks. My ds was a kicker and wouldn't let them take proper measurements at 20 weeks.

However, I KNEW my baby's movements and my instinct told me everything was fine. I know it sounds a bit hippy, but a mother's instinct during pregnancy is really something to go by. If you don't feel 10 movements in an hour, and that's not normal for your baby then it would be a good idea to get checked out.

When my mum was pregnant with me, I don't think they had special guidelines for mothers to go by. As it happened my Mum felt I wasn't moving as much, went down to the hospital and I was in distress which resulted in an emergency c-sec.

Moomins - true. some pcts do offer it, though. my sister was offered extra cervical scans when she had her 3rd because number 1 was 12 weeks early and number 2 was 6 weeks early.
have to say, i don't know if it's because she asked. (it might have been because number 1 has cerebral palsy)

RandallPinkFloyd Tue 07-May-13 11:45:18

I had no advice at all from my midwives. They would just ask if he was moving at each appointment. When I asked about what was normal they told me that whatever is normal for you is fine, they don't give out kick charts anymore as they just makes people paranoid. [Hmm] Thankfully I was on MN as I ended up having a lot of worries about lack of movement.

I was admitted several times for monitoring. His heart rate was often slowing but as soon as the movements and heart rate picked up I was sent home. He was transverse until 41wks too so had very little room to move, I also wasn't told any of the risks of that either but that's another subject.

I eventually went into the early stages of labour but it stopped after 12 hours and DS was completely still. They monitored me all day and finally induced 6 hours later.

After a horrific 4 hour labour DS was born with the cord tight around his neck and not breathing. Thankfully we were very very lucky, he was resuscitated very quickly and has suffered no long term damage. That is purely luck though. The treatment I had was appalling and left me with borderline PTSD and PND.

The worst part of it is that I'm far to terrified to ever have another child. Irrational as it may be I blame them for that. I ache to have another baby but I just couldn't ever do it.

I'm so sorry for all those who have suffered losses, my heart goes out to you. I never forget how lucky I am, I am thankful every single day that DS survived. I would whole-heartedly support any campaign for an increase in the monitoring of foetal movements.

DD is 3 and I was told any change in movement. If DD had only moved 10 times in 24 hours there would have been a serious problem, she was a 10 movements a minute baby - she moved constantly for a couple of days when I was at 37 weeks. I did go in for reduced movements when she reduced to 2-3 movements an hour, but luckily she was fine. The hospital were great and I was never made to feel I was wasting anyone's time. 10 movements might be normal for one baby but mean serious issues for another.

MoominsYonisAreScary Tue 07-May-13 11:15:40

I remember in 1995 being told 10 active periods in 24 hours

JacqueslePeacock Tue 07-May-13 11:09:42

I was told I should be able to count 10 movements in 2 hours when I was pregnant in 2011, so the guideline can't be all that new. I found the "kick counter" wristband extremely helpful, otherwise I would lose track. I guess I consciously counted kicks over a 2-hour period two or three times a day, which wasn't too arduous.

Tallalime Tue 07-May-13 10:50:42

I do think this is something that pregnant women need to understand better.

I was always told the ten movements in a day thing too. Luckily for me DD had a very regular 'pattern' of movement fron around 24 weeks. So when that changed suddenly at 39+6, and I mentioned it whilst I was in for monitoring the MW hooked her up for monitoring - I had a crash section less than an hour later, DD spent a week in the NICU.

We were told in no uncertain terms that she wouldn't have survived another day in utero. I'll be a lot more cautious and demanding if I ever manage a second pregnancy.

I believe the current guidelines are if there is a change in your baby's pattern of movements to get checked out.

Dd was very active, until one day she wasn't. I was in bits, we went to hospital - I had an anterior placenta, and at 8 months she'd managed to hide herself completely behind it and was moving but I couldn't feel her. The midwives were excellent and assured me I'd don't the right thing. She moved out from her hiding spot the next day. It was awful.

I am hyper aware of my babies movements in my pregnancies, due to the count the kicks campaign, and I don't think that's a bad thing. Better a worried mum who gets checked out and a live baby.

Forgetfulmog Tue 07-May-13 08:07:44

That's awful rosduck, I'm so sorry for you & all the other posters who have lost babies.

I agree with everyone who says about going into hospital with reduced movements. Dd was vv active in the womb, but I remember 1 day her movements halved from 100 to 50. When I rang up the ward to say I was concerned, the MW laughed at me & said 50 was more than most babies did in the womb. Thankfully she started moving as soon as I got off the phone (the monkey), but my instincts were right, later on at 32 weeks she stopped growing & I was induced at 36 weeks. She is a happy 8 mo now.

Don't take chances, if you're worried, get yourself checked out.

Fwiw I think the 10 movements in 2 hrs guideline is much clearer than the 10 in a day; it means that if a baby is at risk their life is more likely to be saved as less time will have passed.

Longdistance Tue 07-May-13 08:03:12

With dd1 I had very little movement if any. She used to hiccup daily so knew everything was ok, but had my concerns when seeing the mw. She said all was well.
Turns out, dd1 had a short umbilical cord that snapped on birth, it was only 15cm shock
Then I was pg with dd2. Then I knew what movement everyone was talking about, except she battered me from inside, like knee movements, and seeing feet and hands. I never had that with dd1.
So to me I think the new guidelines would have been very useful with dd1.

Rosduk Tue 07-May-13 07:57:14

I had an emcs at 27 weeks. After 24 hours of slower movements I decided to get checked thinking everything was probably fine i was just being paranoid. He lived for two hours. Turns out he had a lack of oxygen which reduced his movements but I thought everything was ok as he was moving. I wish I had counted the kicks as if I had gone into hospital sooner he may have survived.

This isn't scaremongering or a sob story, this is highly unlikely to happen to any if you, however, I just hope people take on the advice as it can save lives.

MoominsYonisAreScary Tue 07-May-13 07:48:08

Agree with northern they don't slow down before birth and it's not normal to feel less movement towards the end but so many people still believe this to be true.

Any change in movement should be checked or any worries you have however daft you might think they are.

With ds4 I was worried about my cervix, there was no reason to think
Anything was wrong. Just felt heavy and not as far back as before. I left it thinking I was being silly and 3 days later my cervix failed. My son was born at 20 weeks.

It will haunt me forever, we loose too many babies in this country through second trimester losses and still birth, many could be saved by cheap blood tests or like me more regular scans. Although I didn't know at the time my waters breaking early with ds2 &3 was probably due to cervical problems, yet they don't give extra scans to check until you've had three prem babies or second tri loss.

The guidelines don't keep changing. Keeping an eye on movements has always been advised. What this thread is discussing is some more specific advice. There's no need for people to be confused - except by the myths surrounding babies in the womb. They don't slow down before birth, they don't have whole sleepy days and it's not normal to feel less movement at the end of pregnancy.

fabinacab Tue 07-May-13 07:14:11

I think a lot of it is down to common sense on the mother tbh.and gut instinct.babies do have sleepy days in the womb as they do when they are born.these guidelines keep changing no wounder parents are confused.

lisianthus Tue 07-May-13 00:24:54

Yes, please err on the side of caution. I delayed a bit about coming in to hospital to be checked out as there is so much pressure "not to waste NHS resources", but once I came in, they couldn't have been kinder or more understanding. DD was OK, thank goodness.

This is important- don't worry about NHS resources in this situation as the consequences can be just so terrible. The hospital won't have a go at you or tell you you are wasting their time. You aren't.

ToothGah Mon 06-May-13 23:59:23

I'd hope mums-to-be would err more on the side of caution tbh.

My friend did, as she'd had reduced movements. She went to A&E and was left to sit there for several hours. Her little boy was stillborn three days later sad

littlemissmagic Mon 06-May-13 23:22:00

I am so glad I saw a poster at the hospital telling me to call if I felt reduced fetal movements.

That one poster saved my son's life and quite possibly mine.

I was quite poorly, I just didn't realise quite how poorly I was. You get information overload when you are pregnant - the more important things sometimes need to be pointed out, even if they sound so obvious in hind sight.

YABU, I have just supported a relative through a difficult pregnancy. She had numerous admissions into the Liverpool Women's, every time she went in there was a woman in, whose baby had died,in Utero. That is what the emergency room is for, to get checked out, the staff couldn't be nicer and give the message that it is best to go and get monitored, than lose the baby. Unless you have all of the facts and figures, how can you say that the advice worked well in the past? And why do you think you can advise women better than the professionals and NHS?

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now