Campaign for pregnant women to be aware of baby’s movements

The trust has been raising awareness about the link between reduced baby movements and stillbirth.

The movements matter campaign is around highlighting the need for pregnant women to monitor the movement of their unborn baby.

By reporting any reduction in movement as early on as possible, clinicians are able to do more to care for a baby if there is an issue.

Steve Wild, clinical lead for obstetrics and consultant at the trust, said: “Stillbirth is a tragedy for families and also for us as a maternity service.

“Whilst not all stillbirths can be avoided, we know that reduced fetal movements is a significant risk factor.

“We are dedicated to identifying risk in pregnancy and to minimise the number of stillbirths and the quality improvement work we are doing in this area is critical in this.”

The trust’s maternity team is also raising money for an additional scan machine to help monitor the growth of a baby.

The team held an information stands last week at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, University Hospital of North Tees and Peterlee Community Hospital to offer advice and support and to raise money through a raffle – raising £1,969.

Nicola Threadgold, a midwife at the trust, said: “The campaign aims to offer guidance and support to women, families and the general public about the importance of reporting a change in baby’s movements.

“The additional machine we are raising money for is used to provide growth scans for babies who may not be growing as expected and for babies whose movements have changed. Your donation towards a scan machine will help to drive the service forward and save babies’ lives.”

Laura Pennington, pictured right with her son Teddy, sadly lost her baby Nancy in 2016 to a stillbirth and is now supporting the movements matter campaign.

She said: “There are no words to describe what you go through when you lose a baby and experience stillbirth. I personally felt as though everything changed. You change. Things are never the same again. A part of you has died with your baby. And I would not wish this to happen to anybody.

“Hopefully campaigns like movements matter will help prevent this happening to more women and families.

“I think the campaign is really positive. Any form of awareness in my eyes is a good thing. Helping pregnant woman be vigilant, listen to their bodies and feel at ease to access services if they have any concerns. Dispelling myths about babies movements during pregnancy and educating mums to be is a great thing. Sometimes mums-to-be might feel like they are overreacting or imagining things so don’t seek help. Campaigns like movements matter allow women to be more open and encourage people to talk about their experiences and possible concerns.

“Always go on your instinct and act now. People lead busy lives and take for granted their babies movements. Keep a log or a note as you go about your daily routine of how often your baby is moving and what you movements feel like. If these change or slow down then see a midwife straight away. There are many drop in clinics throughout the area you can access on different days. Midwives here are happy to listen in to baby and do the relevant checks. These drop ins were something I used with my second pregnancy.

“Ask questions. If a medical professional says something you don’t quite understand ask them to explain. They will be more than happy to take a few extra minutes to make things clear to expectant parents.”

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