We know that not all parents have the same outcome as us. 

In June 2020, I gave birth to our son George. At 38 weeks, three days before he was born, I noticed a significant decrease in his movement. As most people do, I consulted Dr Google, wrongly believing that movements slow down before labour is imminent. I came across Kicks Count. Of course, I became extremely worried and phoned the hospital.

On the CTG, George showed signs of distress and I was induced. After induction failed to progress, he was born via emergency c section, weighing 5lb 10oz, and was taken away to neonatal care. At that point the reasons for his condition were unexplained and he was treated for sepsis.

Tests have since shown that my placenta was smaller than it should have been for his gestation and he had been struggling for a while.

A small placenta - which is usually known as placental insufficiency and in turn Fetal Growth Restriction (FGR) - can be fatal. The only obvious symptom I had that things weren't right was reduced movement, when he started to tire and give up. We were extremely lucky - only a short while longer and our story could have been different.

George is now a thriving, happy little boy and he brings us so much joy. He thankfully has no lasting effects from his ordeal.

But we know that not all parents have the same outcome as us. 

baby life saved reduced movement kicks count covid 19

He's My Reason to Run

While I won’t be the fastest runner on the block (hello postpartum body) and I certainly won’t be going for any PBs (hello c section) I'm running the Royal Parks Half Marathon for this vital campaign and charity. They empowered me to speak out for my baby - and saved his life.

Story from Francesca Treadaway Murray // @frantreadmurray on Instagram

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. 

Mama, you've got this.