Management of Decreased Fetal Movements

Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway.
Seminars in Perinatology (Impact Factor: 2.68). 08/2008; 32(4):307-11. DOI: 10.1053/j.semperi.2008.04.015
Source: PubMed


Maternal perception of decreased fetal activity is a common complaint, and one of the most frequent causes of unplanned visits in pregnancy. No proposed definitions of decreased fetal movements have ever been proven to be superior to a subjective maternal perception in terms of identifying a population at risk. Women presenting with decreased fetal movements do have higher risk of stillbirth, fetal growth restriction, fetal distress, preterm birth, and other associated outcomes. Yet, little research has been conducted to identify optimal management, and no randomized controlled trials have been performed. The strong associations with adverse outcome suggest that adequate management should include the exclusion of both acute and chronic conditions associated with decreased fetal movements. We propose guidelines for management of decreased fetal movements that include both a nonstress test and an ultrasound scan and report findings in 3014 cases of decreased fetal movements.

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    • "Sensation of decreased fetal movement (DFM) is a common problem among pregnant women; in Norway, as many as 51% of women report that they were concerned about DFM once or more in pregnancy. Only 4 - 15% of pregnant women contact care providers with such concerns [1]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Maternal counting of fetal movement is a popular and valuable screening tool of fetal wellbeing, however it is still not known what percentage of healthy pregnant women who gave birth to healthy term newborns had experienced decreased fetal movements during gestation and what maternal and fetal factors are associated with this maternal perception of decreased fetal movements. The aim of this study was to assess the associations between maternal perception of decreased fetal movements and maternal and fetal factors in normotensive singleton pregnancies with good pregnancy outcome. Methods This study was conducted on 729 normotensive singleton pregnant women who had referred for prenatal visit and on follow up gave birth to healthy term newborns. A questionnaire was completed for the participants and ultrasound imaging was performed. Participants were asked to count their fetal movements for one hour/3times/day. Participants were followed till delivery to exclude mothers with preterm and/or small for gestational age delivery from the study. Results Perception of decreased fetal movement was independently associated with maternal employment (Odds Ratio (OR), 2.66; 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI), 1.35-5.23), not having daily exercise (OR, 4.38; 95%CI, 1.56-8.08) and maternal supine position (OR, 3.85; 95%CI, 1.71-8.83). Conclusions 8.1% of healthy pregnant women who have good pregnancy outcome report perception of decreased fetal movement when asked to count their fetal movement in third gestational trimester which is independently associated with maternal employment, supine position on counting and not having daily exercise.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 08/2014; 2014(14):286. DOI:10.1186/1471-2393-14-286 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    • "In common with previous studies [15,16], a two-fold increase in late stillbirth was reported in women perceiving reduced fetal movements (RFM) [17]. Although, maternal perception of reduced fetal activity is often used to highlight pregnancies that require further investigation [18], the RCOG guideline on the management of RFM highlighted the need for further studies to understand how maternal perception of reduced fetal activity can be used in stillbirth prevention [12]. Another novel finding of Stacey et al. was the association between a single episode of vigorous fetal activity and late stillbirth [17]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The United Kingdom has one of the highest rates of stillbirth in Europe, resulting in approximately 4,000 stillbirths every year. Potentially modifiable risk factors for late stillbirths are maternal age, obesity and smoking, but the population attributable risk associated with these risk factors is small. Recently the Auckland Stillbirth Study reported that maternal sleep position was associated with late stillbirth. Women who did not sleep on their left side on the night before the death of the baby had double the risk compared with sleeping on other positions. The population attributable risk was 37%. This novel observation needs to be replicated or refuted. Case control study of late singleton stillbirths without congenital abnormality. Controls are women with an ongoing singleton pregnancy, who are randomly selected from participating maternity units booking list of pregnant women, they are allocated a gestation for interview based on the distribution of gestations of stillbirths from the previous 4 years for the unit. The number of controls selected is proportional to the number of stillbirths that occurred at the hospital over the previous 4 years. Data collection: Interviewer administered questionnaire and data extracted from medical records. Sample size: 415 cases and 830 controls. This takes into account a 30% non-participation rate, and will detect an OR of 1.5 with a significance level of 0.05 and power of 80% for variables with a prevalence of 57%, such as non-left sleeping position. Statistical analysis: Mantel-Haenszel odds ratios and unconditional logistic regression to adjust for potential confounders. The hypotheses to be tested here are important, biologically plausible and amenable to a public health intervention. Although this case–control study cannot prove causation, there is a striking parallel with research relating to sudden infant death syndrome, where case–control studies identified prone sleeping position as a major modifiable risk factor. Subsequently mothers were advised to sleep babies prone (“Back to Sleep” campaign), which resulted in a dramatic drop in SIDS. This study will provide robust evidence to help determine whether such a public health intervention should be considered. Trial registration number NCT02025530
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 05/2014; 14(1):171. DOI:10.1186/1471-2393-14-171 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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    • "Poor pregnancy outcome was defined as stillbirth, small for gestational age infant defined as an individualised birthweight centile <10th, umbilical arterial pH <7.1 or unexpected admission to NICU. These outcomes were chosen as previous studies have shown that infants stillborn after RFM were SGA [15], and infants subject to severe intra-uterine compromise might not die but instead require neonatal intensive care [16]. Data regarding levels of maternal anxiety were obtained before and after the investigations by the state-trait anxiety index (STAI) which has previously been validated in pregnancy. "
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    ABSTRACT: Women presenting with reduced fetal movements (RFM) in the third trimester are at increased risk of stillbirth or fetal growth restriction. These outcomes after RFM are related to smaller fetal size on ultrasound scan, oligohydramnios and lower human placental lactogen (hPL) in maternal serum. We performed this study to address whether a randomised controlled trial (RCT) of the management of RFM was feasible with regard to: i) maternal recruitment and retention ii) patient acceptability, iii) adherence to protocol. Additionally, we aimed to confirm the prevalence of poor perinatal outcomes defined as: stillbirth, birthweight <10th centile, umbilical arterial pH <7.1 or unexpected admission to the neonatal intensive care unit. Women with RFM ≥36 weeks gestation were invited to participate in a RCT comparing standard management (ultrasound scan if indicated, induction of labour (IOL) based on consultant decision) with intensive management (ultrasound scan, maternal serum hPL, IOL if either result was abnormal). Anxiety was assessed by state-trait anxiety index (STAI) before and after investigations for RFM. Rates of protocol compliance and IOL for RFM were calculated. Participant views were assessed by questionnaires. 137 women were approached, 120 (88%) participated, 60 in each group, 2 women in the standard group did not complete the study. 20% of participants had a poor perinatal outcome. All women in the intensive group had ultrasound assessment of fetal size and liquor volume vs. 97% in the standard group. 50% of the intensive group had IOL for abnormal scan or low hPL after RFM vs. 26% of controls (p < 0.01). STAI reduced for all women after investigations, but this reduction was greater in the standard group (p = 0.02). Participants had positive views about their involvement in the study. An RCT of management of RFM is feasible with a low rate of attrition. Investigations decrease maternal anxiety. Participants in the intensive group were more likely to have IOL for RFM. Further work is required to determine the likely level of intervention in the standard care arm in multiple centres, to develop additional placental biomarkers and to confirm that the composite outcome is valid. Trial registration ISRCTN07944306
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 04/2013; 13(1):95. DOI:10.1186/1471-2393-13-95 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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