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Mindfetalness – A method for pregnant for observation of fetal movements

Title

Mindfetalness – A method for pregnant for observation of fetal movements

Background

How the unborn baby moves and how the movements are perceived is unique to each baby and woman. At the end of pregnancy, different types of fetal movements can be perceived, and most women experience the movements as powerful. There is a link between decreased fetal movements, growth restriction and stillbirth. When the placenta does not work properly, the fetus does not receive enough nutrition and oxygen and the fetus then saves energy by being still. Most women who contact healthcare for decreased fetal movements give birth to a healthy baby later on. But research shows that women whose babies died in the womb have experienced decreased and weaker movements. We have developed Mindfetalness, a method practiced daily from week 28 until childbirth. In about 15 minutes when the fetus is awake, the woman observes the strength, character and frequency of movements (without counting individual movements), the goal is to get to know the fetal movement pattern.

Aim

The main objective is to evaluate Mindfetalness effects on pregnancy outcomes. Other aims are to study the effect of Mindfetalness in different groups of pregnant women and to study midwives’ experiences of working with the method when informing about fetal movements.

Method

In a randomized controlled trial, all maternity clinics in Stockholm were randomized to distribute information about Mindfetalness to pregnant women or to routine care. The information was distributed in nine different languages and it was voluntary to practice the method. The women registered at the maternity clinics have been followed up through registers.

Relevance

Written information in the native language about fetal movements and about a method to become familiar with the unborn baby’s movement pattern, can be beneficial for the pregnant woman and the baby. Research shows that information about fetal movements to pregnant women can reduce delayed contact with healthcare. If women, in the end of pregnancy, daily observes the movements of the baby and become familiar with the baby’s movement pattern, it increases the possibilities to identify a pattern that deviates from the usual. When the woman seeks care for decreased fetal movements, the fetal movement history can become more substantial and the chance to identify a baby at risk increases.

Foundation

The Swedish Research Council, The Infant Foundation, Sophiahemmet’s Research Found

Contact

Responsible for the project: Ingela Rådestad, Professor, Sophiahemmet University and doctor in medical science Anna Akselsson, Sophiahemmet University and Anna Akselsson, Post doc, Department for Health Promoting Science, Sophiahemmet University.