My son Louis was born at the end of April, 7 weeks early, during the Covid-19 lockdown

I woke up on a Sunday morning and had a feeling I hadn't felt much movement. I only had a couple of flutters and not very strong ones for a 30-week gestation baby. I left it a little longer thinking I would feel more after my Sunday roast but I only felt one lame prod.

I called the Maternity Unit and went straight in. The baby's heart rate was high and kept dropping randomly. I was on the ECG monitor for 24 hours non-stop as there was no explanation - all other observations were fine. They gave me steroid incase of a pre-term labour and I was in for the night.

Reoccuring Reduced Movements

A week later, before a midwife appointment, I felt like his movements had reduced again. The midwife checked his heart rate with her doppler and it was high again, so she sent me to the Maternity Unit - this time it seemed to resolve again within few hours.

I booked a private scan as I couldn't have one at the hospital because of Covid. All seemed fine, all they said is that I was expecting a big baby! How wrong they were ...

A week later I had reduced movements again from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning and went to hospital later that afternoon. The same again - I was continuously on the ECG machine and his heart rate was high with big drops. Each time they would come and say everything seems fine but then it would drop again!

I was sent to the labour ward so I could be closely monitored and my wife could the join me there. They booked us in for a growth scan at midday on the Friday, which was also my daughters 4th birthday. The scan showered lack of blood flowing to the baby from the placenta and that his actual measurements were that of a baby weighing just 2.5lbs! By this time, 33 weeks, he should have been closer to 5lbs.

Why it was worth it

I was soon taken down for an emergency c-section and our little Louis was delivered safely.

We were in the Neonatal Unit for 5 weeks during lockdown and the nurses/consultants and midwives were just amazing. I didn't get to see my son with my wife until we were transferred to another hospital for further investigations at 3 days old. I only got to see my daughter after 3 weeks for a couple of hours in the hospital garden. She couldn't see her baby brother until he came home.

It doesn't matter even if you feel something but its not quite right you must get seen to.

If you have already been in before with reduced movements you must get seen to. 

Don't ignore the signs! With him being my last IVF egg and giving me the signs I needed, he is my miracle boy.

Here he is now, happy at 6-months old.

Story from: Amy Turvey


What should you do if you notice a change in your baby's movements during the Covid-19 pandemic?

You should call your Maternity Unit immediately. They are there to care for you and your baby whenever you need. Don't forget:

  • Don't put off calling until tomorrow to see what happens.

  • Don't worry about calling - your midwives and doctors will want to hear from you. Your Maternity Unit is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so there will always be someone available to talk to.

  • Don't use any hand-held monitors, dopplers, or phone apps to check your baby’s heartbeat. Even if you detect a heartbeat, it doesn't mean your baby is well.

It's more important than ever that you don't arrive at the hospital unannounced, always phone first.

If there are any concerns about your baby you can be seen, regardless of whether you are showing symptoms of Covid-19. Ensure you mention if you are showing symptoms though, so steps can be taken to ensure the safety of those looking after you.