Low maternal awareness of fetal movements is associated with negative birth outcomes. Knowledge regarding pregnant women's compliance with programs of systematic self-assessment of fetal movements is needed. The aim of this study was to investigate women's experiences using two different self-assessment methods for monitoring fetal movements and to determine if the women had a preference for one or the other method.
Data were collected by a crossover trial; 40 healthy women with an uncomplicated full-term pregnancy counted the fetal movements according to a Count-to-ten method and assessed the character of the movements according to the Mindfetalness method. Each self-assessment was observed by a midwife and followed by a questionnaire. A total of 80 self-assessments was performed; 40 with each method.
Of the 40 women, only one did not find at least one method suitable. Twenty of the total of 39 reported a preference, 15 for the Mindfetalness method and five for the Count-to-ten method. All 39 said they felt calm, relaxed, mentally present and focused during the observations. Furthermore, the women described the observation of the movements as safe and reassuring and a moment for communication with their unborn baby.
In the 80 assessments all but one of the women found one or both methods suitable for self-assessment of fetal movements and they felt comfortable during the assessments. More women preferred the Mindfetalness method compared to the count-to-ten method, than vice versa.
2014. Vol. 14, 349- p.