Pregnancy news, 03/03/17
We’re grateful for news presenter Emma Crosby sharing her experience of reduced fetal movements during her first pregnancy.
Emma explains that she had continued working until she was at 38 weeks because she felt absolutely fine through the pregnancy.
When the baby was a week overdue, she started to feel anxious.
On the Friday night, Emma says she had a bath, but realised at 1am that she hadn’t felt the baby kick since about 9pm.
She says, ‘I was worried, I didn’t want to wake my partner Jeremy so I went downstairs until 3:30am.’
Emma says that she drank a glass of cold water to see if the baby would respond and also tried lying on her left side as doctors had said it was best for blood circulation. The baby didn’t respond to either.
‘I knew about the charity Kicks Count, which reminds mums to monitor the baby’s movements throughout pregnancy.’
So Emma called her hospital and they advised her to go in immediately. At the hospital, the care team monitored the baby’s heartbeat, but the heartbeat started dropping. ‘It was terrifying’, she says.
‘They rushed me to the labour ward and broke my waters. They were dark brown and stained with meconium – the baby’s waste – which is a sign it was in distress. I’d wanted a natural birth, but I had to have an emergency caesarean.’
Mary was delivered via caesarean, but she had inhaled the meconium and was rushed to intensive care.
After a stay in intensive care, Mary spent three days on the high dependency ward. She was finally able to join Emma on the maternity ward and they were both discharged. ‘Now I know how lucky I was,’ says Emma.
‘I know there are mothers who go for hours without feeling a movement, and the baby doesn’t make it,’ she says.
‘I kept wondering what might have happened if I’d never heard of Kicks Count, and had simply gone back to bed.
‘Sadly there are still too many misconceptions around – some people still believe that the baby moves less in late pregnancy, which isn’t true at all. Now I know that if your baby stops moving, you need to call for help urgently.’
Emma says they don’t know why she had problems late in the pregnancy, but today Mary is a ‘boisterous 15 month old, and a cheeky little monkey.’
We think it’s great that Emma has spoken out about her experience of reduced fetal movements. In 2016, we teamed up with Kicks Count and NHS England to create our #MovementsMatter campaign. It aims to raise awareness of reduced fetal movement and challenge dangerous myths about baby movement during pregnancy. If you're worried about your baby's reduced movements, you must contact your midwife or maternity unit without delay.
Are you worried about your baby’s reduced movements? This leaflet outlines the care that you should expect to receive, depending on which stage of the pregnancy you are at.
Our #movementsmatter campaign, launched on 24 October, challenges dangerous myths about baby movement during pregnancy, and urges mums-to-be to follow current recommendations about what to do when they experience a change in their baby's movements. The campaign is supported by NHS England and Kicks Count.
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