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Is late pregnancy a "dangerous"; time for baby?!

(40 Posts)
GinAndaDashOfLime Wed 12-Dec-12 09:23:19

Just wondering really if the last month or so is more risky for baby - I'm 39+5 and EVERY appointment recently have had a long, serious talk from the midwife about ANY decrease in baby movements to get to hospital URGENTLY ..

Don't get me wrong I'm so pleased that they take it seriously and I feel very well looked after (and have in fact been in for two CTG traces in last week due to very slightly less movements), but this is my 3rd DC and I don't remember this level if anxiety from the HCPs last times, and it's only really since 36 weeks that the fetal movement reduction topic has been raised by the midwife - previous appointments were much more bish-bash-bosh iyswim?

Is there something I don't know? Are babies more at risk in the final few weeks ?

GinAndaDashOfLime Wed 12-Dec-12 09:24:10

Apologies for semi colon in title - fat puffy hands!!

SoHHKB Wed 12-Dec-12 09:36:31

I can't answer your question but I know what you mean - my mw has been very insistent about fetal movement as soon as I said I could feel anything. And it's not something I particularly remember worrying about with my dd. I will watch with interest to see if anyone can enlighten us...

GinAndaDashOfLime Wed 12-Dec-12 10:04:15

Glad it's not just me!

inadreamworld Wed 12-Dec-12 10:11:02

Am nearly 36 weeks and midwife was going on aboutthe symptoms of pre eclampsia. Even though I have none of the symptoms and haven't even swelled up at all!! I think they just get more serious/anxious seeming at the end - this is my 2nd baby and I remember they were similar last time which wasn't that long ago.

inadreamworld Wed 12-Dec-12 10:12:03

Do keep an eye on movement though - last pregnancy I went in once as hadn't felt movement for a while. This time haven't needed to worry as something always seems to be happening.

Tamisara Wed 12-Dec-12 10:17:34

I think it's something like a third of stillbirths happen after 37 weeks. The majority of stillbirths happen in late pregnancy.

The reasons are not known. In most cases there is no cause that can be found.

Not helpful I know. That is why keeping a check on fetal movements is the only way of helping baby. Sometimes even that can't help, as sometimes the change in pattern, is not noticed until it's too late.

I am glad that midwives are now becoming more aware of this, and dispelling the very stupid & dangerous myth, that babies move less in later pregnancy due to lack of room.

Lora1982 Wed 12-Dec-12 10:48:45

Am i wrong to count hiccups as movement? Obviously along side normal movement.

MightBeMad Wed 12-Dec-12 10:51:48

Lora as far as I know hiccups do not count for 'counting the kicks' (i.e. monitoring baby movement).

Lora1982 Wed 12-Dec-12 11:00:54

Thanks do you know if its periods of movement or amount of movements?

Tamisara Wed 12-Dec-12 11:40:22

Hiccups do not count as movement, as it's involuntary.

Lora Both. In that your baby will have a routine, that you should be able to recognise. A little bout of movements in the morning, evening etc (whatever is the norm for your baby). Any deviation in that is a signal to be checked i.e if baby is quieter than usual, and the movements seem weaker.

That said do not be reassured if baby had it's usual burst, then you feel nothing again for hours.

It's not about bouts of movements, or how many movements per se. It's about recognising your baby's patterns & noticing any change - including sudden increased 'manic' movements.

Any movement is good, and should be recorded. But only you know what is normal for your baby.

Lora1982 Wed 12-Dec-12 12:15:25

Excellent. Thanks ladies

redwellybluewelly Wed 12-Dec-12 14:20:08

I was never really told that lack of movement was a sign to be treated with utmost importance.

I went overdue and so started to have MW appt every two days and opted for CTG scans every few days too. Was told to go to hospital if I was worried but no sense of urgency ever told to me of my DH. At +17 (hospital wouldn't induce till +19 due to the weekend and the community head of midwives supported the decision to go overdue) my baby stopped moving. Rather than treat me urgently the hospital left me on a trace monitor which showed no foetal response in two hours. They induced rather than crash section and my beautiful baby girl suffered massive brain injury leading to a coma in NICU for a week and long term disability. All of which would have been avoided had I moved faster to get to hospital and they had acted quicker to get her out - she simply couldn't cope with the hard and fast induced labour. My placenta was fine and she was an average weight, she wasn't as overdue as the dates had suggested and in fact being overdue 'probably' wasn't a factor in her stopping moving according to her doctor. It was a combination of factors that led to her stopping moving.

So. Is the last few weeks dangerous - no - riskier perhaps as you head towards the end, but be aware of your babies movements and if the hospital tries to fob you off then don't let them. Nobody really understands why stillbirths happen, and there is an insufficient amount of research however what I wish someone had said to me is TRUST YOUR INSTINCT

jinglebellyalltheway Wed 12-Dec-12 14:23:06

I think the difference with the risks in the last few weeks is that they often can be fixed by having a CS if noticed early enough, unlike a lot of earlier complications IYKWIM

jinglebellyalltheway Wed 12-Dec-12 14:24:34

"Thanks do you know if its periods of movement or amount of movements?"

I've been told of 2 ways to count

10 EPISODES of movements a day (not individual movements)
or 10 individual movements an hour
not counting hickups

SoHHKB Wed 12-Dec-12 14:27:32

sad redwelly and thanks thanks for sharing your story - I will definitely be extra mindful and thankful for all the poking and prodding I get from my bump...
Best wishes to you all smile

CashewNuts Wed 12-Dec-12 14:41:20

Redwelly, also thank you for sharing your story.

I had reduced movements in the past went in and they told me it was normal on the monitor but discovered preeclampsia so I was induced, I was overdue anyway.
It's hard to know because t this stage movements are different and not like they were when bump is smaller. There is still movement but it's different maybe less kicking more swishing. I dnt know I try to be more laid back but reading this has made me think, how do you know exactly?

GinAndaDashOfLime Wed 12-Dec-12 15:09:09

Redwelly thank you for sharing your story, I'm sorry if this thread has given you pain. I think the natural birth movement, whilst mostly a good thing, has also made some HCPs very wary of intervention even when medically indicated - my obs said to me yesterday when I asked about induction that he didn't want me to come back in a month's time "accusing" him of causing a "cascade of intervention leading to a CS"
- I said I don't care one bit if a CS is necessary but he said "oh you think that now but after you'll want to question why you didn't have a water birth with whale music ..." hmm

redwellybluewelly Wed 12-Dec-12 16:08:30

I'm pleased nobody was frightened and took my post in the way it was intended, had they done a CS (and I wanted a home water birth ha bloody ha) she would have been fine. So yes - what jinglebellyalltheway said is right

Induction before a woman's body is ready is proved to lead to a cascade of intervention, and that is accepted by the 3 independent obstetricians I have seen so far in this pregnancy - 39 weeks at the earliest I will be taken in as they will give my body every chance to go into natural labour. They won't induce however, interestingly that is seen for me at least to carry a higher risk than a CS.

inadreamworld Wed 12-Dec-12 16:37:32

redwellybluewelly so sorry this happened to you. In the UK they induce at 10 days overdue unless the woman refuses. At least that is what I was told when I had DD in 2011. I was induced at 40 + 8 due to waters starting to leak.

I think the natural birth thing has gone too far - who cares about water births etc - the main thing is the health and safety of the baby and mother.

GinAndaDashOfLime Wed 12-Dec-12 16:44:14

Redwelly - from your research - why is a "cascade of intervention" seen as a bad thing? And what are the risks of induction that you mention? I naively (?) think inductions and interventions are the safest ways to give birth because they guarantee more professional care rather than less - and surely the more monitoring and more HCPs attending you mean lower risks? I realise I may be very mistaken smile

GinAndaDashOfLime Wed 12-Dec-12 16:45:40

Inadreamworld - out of interest do you know what other countries' policies are on being overdue?

MaMaPo Wed 12-Dec-12 16:48:23

The other thing in my experience that us higher risk at the end if pregnancy is the health and viability of the placenta. I had a small placental abruption at 37+4 but we decided to wait and see. If I had bled any more or felt fewer movements I definitely would have been discussing induction. (As it was I was induced anyway due to hypertension.)

MarthasHarbour Wed 12-Dec-12 16:54:56

inadreamworld i am in the UK and i was induced at 12 days over - and that was only because i begged. They would have gone to 14 days over otherwise.

redwelly thanks thank you for sharing your story.

Any time of pregnancy is risky for the baby, DS was struggling with labour as his cord was tied round his neck and i had a section (which makes me angry about experiences such as redwellys)

I would take all the cotton wool swaddling you are getting, we are so lucky to have that kind of care. And good luck smile

jinglebellyalltheway Wed 12-Dec-12 16:57:35

"why is a "cascade of intervention" seen as a bad thing?"
because it makes other interventions more likely, but they are interventions after you are exhausted/waters have broken hours ago etc
If induction is offered to me I will ask to go straight for CS, as I'd rather have a CS in the first place than go through all the induction stuff and end up with a more rushed harsher CS at the end of it IYKWIM

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