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Last year I was fortunate enough to become pregnant with my daughter, Daisy. Today I want to talk to you about reduced movements and the importance of noticing any change. Thanks to looking out for reduced movements properly I was able to help save the life of my daughter, and possibly my own life in the process.
When it comes to being pregnant, and reduced movements, I want to share a few pointers from the view of a first time Mum.
- Movements usually start between weeks 16 and 20. I felt my daughter move around 16 weeks.
- Patterns usually emerge at around 24 weeks, if your baby doesn’t have a pattern by this time then be sure to let your midwife know straight away.
- Learn your own babies pattern. There is no set number of movements that a baby should experience and only you, as a Mother, can feel what is normal for your baby.
- Be sure to let your partner know about your babies usual movement pattern.
- Trust your own instincts. You know best! Trust yourself whether you are a first time Mum or have had lots of lovely babies.
- Use a Kicks Count Bracelet to help you keep track of each day’s movement episodes.
- Remember that movements do not slow down towards the end. Despite what well meaning idiots will tell you your baby won’t run out of room. Your baby won’t be cramped and therefore stop moving around. Your baby should keep their pattern from when it establishes all the way through. Now, of course, there are going to be rare exceptions to this but the important thing is to call your midwife for help right away. Don’t delay. Do not sleep on it. Don’t think you’ll mention it at your next appointment – you could be too late to save your child by then!
Trust your own instincts about reduced movements – I can’t put enough emphasis on that!
I’m sure that reading the above text is a little bit scary. I remember all too well how terrified I was during most of my pregnancy. I just KNEW that my daughter was in danger near the end. Having to attend hospital no less than 80 times in the last 3 months before my daughter was born was stressful but necessary. I had growth scans throughout my pregnancy, right up to 36 weeks, however, by 38 weeks my daughter’s growth was static. This was only picked up because I refused to let them tell me that she was absolutely fine. Something within me told me that something was wrong. I kept attending the department every day, with reduced movements, and despite the clear annoyance of one staff member ‘Here again, are you?’ I’m not someone who is easily fobbed off and I wasn’t going to start now!
At 38 weeks + 2 days gestation I had a growth scan that showed my daughter’s growth was static, she was now in danger. The induction process was started and would you know I was allergic to the pessary! After this point I was told that they would try again a week later. I refused this and asked to see a more senior consultant. Fortunately, he agreed that Mums know best and the following day my daughter was born by semi-urgent c-section.
Our daughter was born because of reduced movements
When my daughter was born, at 38+4, she only weighed 5lb 13oz. She should have been 7lb + based on the growth measurements I had throughout my pregnancy. This shows just how badly my daughter was suffering in the womb.
I was told, the following day, that had I waited until full term it was almost certain that my daughter would have been stillborn. One in 220 births is a stillborn baby in the UK, an absolutely shocking figure. My placenta would have erupted, while I was at home, and I probably would have died in the process too. It is fair to say that we had a very, very, very lucky escape!
Look at our daughter now!
The outcome of my daughter and myself both being here, healthy and living a normal life is obviously a fantastic one. Other parents are not fortunate enough to be in the same position. This is often because of a lack of education and a number of myths about reduced movements. The below video, from Tommys, makes it clear what you should be looking for with regards to reduced movements.
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