Preventing stillbirths

Decreased fetal movements still remain an important signal for pregnant women to seek urgent medical review, a large Australian retrospective study shows.

After analysing results from over 100,000 births over 11 years at the Mater Mothers’ Hospital in Brisbane, the researchers found that the rate of stillbirths after 28 weeks among those women who presented with decreased fetal movements (8.7%)  was the same as those women who did not experience any change in fetal movements.

Such a finding may seem contradictory to the notion that decreased fetal movements was a reliable predictor of increased risk of stillbirth. But in fact, the study authors reiterated that decreased fetal movements was worthy of urgent review as they found reduced movements were associated with an increased likelihood of earlier intervention which, in this era, generally meant a live ...

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