Fetal movements: What are we telling women?

Jane Warland, Pauline Glover

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Problem Information that women receive about the importance of monitoring fetal movements and what to do if there are changes is inconsistent and may not be evidence based. Background This paper reports a summary of the kind of messages a group of South Australian midwives (n = 72) currently give pregnant women. Methods Comment data from two questions in a larger survey asking (1) what information midwives routinely provide to women about fetal movements and (2) their practice regarding advice they give to women reporting reduced fetal movements. Data were analysed using summative content analysis. Findings Four main recurring words and phrases were identified. With respect to information midwives give all women about monitoring fetal movements, recurring words were “10”, “normal”, “kick charts” and “when to contact” their care-provider. Recurrent words and phrases arising from answers to the second question about advice midwives give to women reporting reduced fetal movement were “ask questions,” “suggest fluids,” “monitor at home and call back” or “come in for assessment”. Discussion These findings suggest that a group of South Australian midwives are providing pregnant women with inconsistent information, often in conflict with best practice evidence. Conclusion As giving correct, evidence based information about what to do in the event of an episode of reduced fetal movement may be a matter of life or death for the unborn baby it is important that midwives use existing guidelines in order to deliver consistent information which is based on current evidence to women in their care.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-28
    Number of pages6
    JournalWomen and Birth
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


    • Kick counting
    • Management of reduced fetal movement
    • Midwives knowledge
    • Reduced fetal movements
    • Women's knowledge


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