Stillbirth is a global public health issue affecting over 2.6 million women at or beyond 28 weeks’ gestation each year. 

Raising awareness of decreased or reduced fetal movements (RFM) among pregnant women and clinicians is one existing strategy intended to reduce risk of stillbirth. 

RFM is strongly linked to stillbirth, yet suboptimal care for women with RFM is a commonly reported contributing factor to stillbirth. 

Women frequently report that clinicians have not listened to their concerns about RFM and many delay reporting. 

Misinformation about fetal movements is commonplace. For example, women are often told that RFM at term is to be expected due to the baby ‘running out of room’ or that RFM can be corrected by the woman drinking a glass of water. Such information can delay presentation with RFM. Reducing delayed presentation for RFM may increase the window of opportunity for meaningful assessment and intervention. Practice improvement initiatives aimed at raising awareness of RFM are widely accepted as an important prevention strategy for stillbirth. 

Read the full paper