Tommy’s guest blog, 24/05/2017 by Tommy’s Midwife Sophie
We are so saddened to hear the news that mother Georgia Boyton had to say goodbye to her beautiful baby girl Dollie-Raie earlier this week after Dollie-Raie's heart stopped beating.
It’s such a heart-breaking reality that no parent should be faced with and our hearts go out to Georgia and her partner James.
Georgia has been encouraging other mother’s to always trust their instincts after she felt her concerns about a change in Dollie-Raie’s movements were brushed aside.
It is so disappointing for us as midwives to hear that a women has felt dismissed or not been taken seriously.
Midwives, no matter where they work, care about the health and wellbeing of every mum and baby who comes through the door. It is our duty to review women who are concerned for her own health or the health of her unborn child, get the obstetric team involved if there are risks or concerns, undertake all necessary tests and checks and ultimately be able to send mum and baby away with the best outcome.
Please remember, no medical professional will feel their time has been wasted if the health of your baby is at stake.
Reduced fetal movements
Any reduction or change in your baby’s movements is important as it could be a sign that they are unwell or in distress.
Reduced fetal movements in pregnancy should always be taken seriously. No midwife will ever feel that their time is being wasted if a woman is concerned about their babies movement.
If you’re worried about your baby’s movements, you should always visit your local labour ward as a matter of urgency and get checked out. You can download and print our information on the care you should expect when reporting reduced fetal movements to take with you, and ensure you receive the correct care.
My midwife or doctor isn’t listening
We know that there is still work to do in the medical profession to ensure that women don’t feel their concerns have been brushed aside.
If you do feel that your concerns haven’t been taken seriously or are unhappy with the response you’ve been given there are a number of things you can do. Take a look at our page on what to do if your midwife isn’t listening for more information.
Be your own champion
Georgia is exactly right to encourage other women to trust their maternal instincts. You are in the best position to know what is normal for your pregnancy and what may be a sign that something isn’t right. We are just sorry that such a sad story lies behind Georgia’s message.
If you’ve been affected by stillbirth, we Tommy’s midwives are trained in bereavement support. You can call us on Tommy’s free information phone line 0800 0147 800 from 9 – 5, Monday – Friday.
Please do get in touch if there is anything we can do to help or support you.
Many women worry about raising concerns in pregnancy for fear of being a nuisance or wasting time. Here are some tips for speaking up in pregnancy, getting listened to and being taken seriously.
If you’re worried about your baby’s movements, take a look at our page on reporting reduced fetal movements and what to expect.
If you are going to an appointment with concerns and want to ensure all of your worries are addressed, use our Always Ask questions, queries and concerns list to note down everything you want to ask your healthcare team.
You can read more about Georgia’s story at the Huffington Post.
Being your own champion during pregnancy is important. That’s why Tommy’s has launched a new campaign called #AlwaysAsk to encourage you to trust your instincts and speak up when it comes to health concerns in pregnancy.
Practical tips from other women on how to get listened to and be taken seriously when you have a concern in pregnancy.
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.
It's concerning to see mobile apps that claim to monitor your baby’s heartbeat being promoted in the press
An Evening Standard piece promoting mobile apps for mums-to-be shows why greater awareness about reduced fetal movements is needed.
Our midwife Kate strongly advises against using home devices for 'reassurance', or mobile apps that falsely claim to be able to monitor your baby's heartbeat.