Fetal Movements Monitoring As a Still Valid Fetal Well-being Assessment Method

Abstract: Fetal movement observation by pregnant women is the oldest and the cheapest way to assess fetal well-being. There is a scientifically confirmed correlation between weaker perception of the movements and increased risk of intrauterine fetal death. The investigated group comprised 154 patients from the Clinic of Obstetrics and Pathology of Pregnancy at the Medical University of Lublin, aged 17-45. Data were collected through the author’s questionnaire. Statistical analysis was performed in SPSS Statistics and Chi2 Test. In the investigated group 70.8% of women would count fetal movements every day and 13% were not doing this at all. Whereas 72% of women declare they have been informed by a doctor about the necessity to count fetal movements, 51.3% did not receive any materials that could facilitate the assessment of the physical activity of the fetus. Almost 50% of the women did not know how fetal movements change throughout pregnancy. Nonetheless, 45.5% of the patients correctly listed the indications for an urgent consultation in a health centre. The women were asked to state if the following sentence was correct: „a decreased number of fetal movements may indicate a fetal disease”. Over half (59.1% ) of the respondents answered the sentence was true. Women who obtained higher education gave the correct answer more frequently than those with secondary education. Patient awareness concerning monitoring fetal movements seems to be insufficient. There is a need for medical staff to pay more attention to education of pregnant women on the benefits resulting from monitoring the physical activity of the fetus.

Authors:

Kinga Wdowiarz, Olga Padała, Monika Majcher, Anna Orzeł, Anna Semczuk-Sikora M.D. and Ph.D.

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