The Connection Between DFM and Newborn Health
Although there are harmless reasons for decreased fetal movement, some serious conditions may also cause this. There are links between DFM and:
- Fetomaternal hemorrhage
- Fetal growth restriction
- Premature birth
- Acidemia (high acidity in fetal blood )
Experts also state that decreased fetal movement might be linked with a low APGAR score.
APGAR score refers to the 5 parameters used to check a newborn’s status. It stands for appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration. The highest score for each parameter is 2; in total, a newborn has a good APGAR score if they achieve 7 points or more.
Understanding that these conditions might be connected to DFM will give you more reasons to monitor your baby’s movements.
Since normal fetal movements differ from one baby to another, experts advise mothers to be familiar with her baby’s activity inside the womb.
How Should You Track Your Baby’s Movements?
After knowing the common reasons for decreased fetal movement, it’s time to learn about the correct way of counting your baby’s kicks and movements.
- When you reach the 28th-week mark, start measuring your baby’s movements daily, preferably at the same time each day when the baby is most active.
- Get a notebook and record the time for the first movement. Remember that the movement can be a kick, swish, roll, and tumble.
- After the time for the first movement, place a checkmark for the succeeding ones.
- Record the time when you detected the 10th movement.
- Record the amount of time it took to reach the 10th movement.
Here’s an example of a Kick Count Record:
Monday – 8:30 ✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓9:16 = 46 minutes
Tuesday – 8:50 ✓✓✓✓✓✓✓✓9:45 = 55 minutes
Ideal results will show 10 movements in 2 hours; most of the time, you’ll complete the 10th count faster than that. If you didn’t count 10 movements within the recommended time, wait for a few hours and try again. You may also try to simulate the baby by placing music near your tummy, eating snacks, or tapping your abdomen.
Seek medical attention right away if:
- You still didn’t feel 10 movements in the 2nd attempt
- There’s a noticeable change in the pattern of results in 3 to 4 days.
Remember that it’s not true that babies “behave” more in the final weeks of pregnancy. You should feel movements up to the point of labor.
In the later stages, your baby will have less space to make big movements, like rolling and tumbling. However, it doesn’t mean that the quickening will slow down or stop. The baby will stretch and try to be comfortable in the cramped space. They will also use their hands to explore their surroundings and body.
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