- • Maternal perception of reduced fetal movements affects up to 15% of pregnancies.
- • Reduced fetal movements cause concern and anxiety and can be associated with poor pregnancy outcome.
- • Up to 29% of women complaining of diminished movements carry a small-for-gestational-age fetus.
- • Multiple pathologies contibute to reduce fetal movements but in many pregnancies a cause is not found.
- • To establish what is meant by ‘reduced fetal movements’.
- • To understand the assessment tools for women presenting with reduced fetal movements.
- • To identify the fetus at risk of stillbirth and poor perinatal outcome.
- • To learn which investigations are useful and which are not, in order to apply appropriate assessment and management strategies.
- • Lack of good data on the management of reduced fetal movements.
- • Failure to recognise pregnancy pathologies in women presenting with reduced fetal movements.
- • Variation in practice in addressing this condition, with the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes.
- • Risk of producing iatrogenic problems through over-investigation and unwarranted intervention in a healthy fetus.
Please cite this article as: Unterscheider J, Horgan R, O'Donoghue K, Greene R. Reduced fetal movements. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 2009;11:245–251.