What to teach mothers on foetal movement Monitoring
By the 28th week of gestation the foetal kicks become stronger and more regular.
Foetal movements are important because they indicate that the foetus is alive and healthy.
During the last trimester of pregnancy the foetal movements may appear to be reduced due to the enlarging foetus and decreased amniotic fluid.
Count all foetal movements, for example, kicking and rolling, everyday.
However, in a cross-over trial comparing maternal acceptance of two foetal movement charts, Christensen, and Rayburn (1999:609); Christensen, Olson and Rayburn (2003: 1056) observed that mothers preferred the count to ten (10) foetal movement chart since it promotes a higher level of adherence.
A change in a normal pattern or number of foetal movements may indicate that the foetus is under stress.
A reduced rate or absence of foetal movements for more than 24 hours after 22 weeks of gestation should be reported to the health professional immediately.
Excessive movements should also be noted as this may point to foetal compromise.
Avoid the taking of drugs (for example, sedatives) as this temporarily inhibits foetal movements.