Fetal Movement Monitoring: How Are We Doing as Educators?

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Objective: When decreased fetal movement is noticed, delay in seeking care is associated with poor perinatal outcomes, including stillbirth. Health care providers are responsible for educating women about normal fetal movement and the appropriate actions they should take if it decreases. This study aimed to demonstrate our pregnant population's understanding of normal fetal movement and responses to decreased fetal movement, and to potentially guide educational interventions to improve perinatal outcomes. Methods: We surveyed 304 pregnant women (over 26 weeks' gestation) during clinic visits at the IWK Health Centre, Halifax, NS. Information collected in the survey included demographics, knowledge about normal fetal movement, monitoring techniques, and response to decreased fetal movement. Results: Eighteen percent of women (55/298) demonstrated knowledge of normal fetal movement and fetal monitoring, indicating that they would seek assessment promptly if they experienced decreased fetal movement. Although 54.7% of participants (164/300) would contact a health care professional if they noticed decreased fetal movement, approximately two thirds of participants were unable to describe normal fetal movement or monitoring techniques. Almost 30% of participants (90/304) did not identify daily fetal movement as normal, and 37.5% (114/304) reported it may be normal for fetal movement to stop around their due date. Written and verbal communication regarding fetal movement from a health care provider significantly increased the likelihood of appropriate intended self-management in the context of decreased fetal movement. Conclusion: Education influences the anticipated behaviour of pregnant women regarding decreased fetal movement. Specific areas of misinformation which may guide future education strategies are identified. There is room for improvement in this area of patient education. Objectif: Méthodes: Résultats: Conclusion:




Berndl, A. M. L., O’Connell, C. M., & McLeod, N. L. (2013). Fetal Movement Monitoring: How Are We Doing as Educators? Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada, 35(1), 22–28. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1701-2163(15)31044-6

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