When I heard about the latest campaign from Tommy’s (#MovementsMatter), I knew I wanted to try and give a little back to this wonderful charity who have helped me over the years and work with them to raise awareness of the important message they are looking to spread.
Tommy’s are the largest charity who fund research into the causes of miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth. The aim of their #MovementsMatter campaign is to:
- increase awareness of the importance of monitoring fetal movements
- give women clear information about what to do and what they should expect when they seek help
- empower women and give them the confidence to seek help
I’m not ashamed to admit that during my pregnancy with Max I went to hospital 6 times for reduced fetal movement. Some may think that this is excessive or that I was over-reacting but because of my miscarriage history I spent every minute of pregnancy on edge, and this made me monitor movements very carefully.
During each of these visits to hospital the midwives were amazing. I was never once dismissed or made to feel silly. They took each situation as serious as the last, they hooked me up to monitors and gave me scans. Most importantly they sat me down and told me that I’d done the right thing in coming in to be checked. I always left there feeling reassured.
Reduced fetal movements can be the first sign that a baby is in distress. Research conducted recently has shown that almost half of women who had a stillbirth said that they had noticed their baby’s movements had slowed down beforehand. The research also showed that 52% of women would be worried about seeking help when they notice reduced fetal movements due to a fear of ‘wasting midwife’s time’. It is so sad to think that babies’ lives may be lost because women aren’t aware of the importance of monitoring movements. Or because women are afraid of wasting someones time.
There are so many myths around what is classed as ‘normal’ movement. You may have heard that as long as you feel 10 movements in an hour then there is nothing to be concerned about; or that babies movements will slow down towards the end of labour. Both of which are untrue. Each baby is different, each baby has their own pattern and movements should continue up to and throughout labour.
If I’m ever lucky enough to be pregnant again in the future then I won’t hesitate to seek help if I am worried. It could just be the most important decision I ever make.
For more information on the campaign, please visit the Tommy’s website and please trust your instinct and speak to your midwife if you are at all concerned about your baby’s movements.
(Please take a moment to watch Tommy’s video, and share with anyone you think might need to see it).