Counting of fetal movement (FM) during pregnancy is believed to be a method by which a woman estimates the fetal well-being. In 2015, it was estimated that 2.6 million babies had died in utero. A percentage of 30-55% of women who experience an episode of reduced fetal movement (RFM) within a week may face stillbirth.


The aim of this review was to assess the impact of reduced fetal movements and of educational interventions on maternal counting of fetal movements on perinatal mortality, perinatal outcome and mode of delivery.


A search of electronic databases was conducted for detecting studies that examine the coincidence of reduced fetal movements (RFM) in combination with stillbirth and perinatal morbidity.


The findings of this review suggest that there is an association between the incidence of stillbirth and the experience of alterations in fetal movements’ quantity and quality in the preceding weeks. Interventions on fetal movement counting, concerning both the number and the density of fetal movements, may reduce the adverse perinatal outcomes to an extent, after informing and making aware of the pregnant women for their meaning.


Maternity care professionals should: a) inform pregnant women about the importance of FM counting, b) encourage pregnant women to be familiarized on the recognition of theirs’ baby normal pattern of fetal movements and c) alarm women when this pattern changes. Care professionals should emphasize that counting of fetal movements is not related only to movements’ quantity (number) but also to movements’ quality (density).

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