Journal of Perinatal Medicine
Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine
Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, MD, FRCOG, Joachim W.
Ed. by Bancalari, Eduardo / Chappelle, Joseph / Chervenak, Frank A. / D'Addario , Vincenzo / Genc, Mehmet R. / Greenough, Anne / Grunebaum, Amos / Konje, Justin C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Romero, Roberto / Zalud, MD PhD, Ivica
IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 1.558
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.653
CiteScore 2017: 1.26
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.594
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.684
Interest for maternal fetal movement counting as a method of screening for fetal well-being boomed during the 1970s and 1980s. Several reports demonstrated that the introduction of counting charts significantly reduced stillbirth rates. However, in 1989, a large study appeared in The Lancet that annihilated research in this field by deeming charts ineffective. In retrospect, it seems evidence was lacking. This review revisits the subject of the significance of fetal movement counting in predicting outcome and reducing stillbirth rates. A structured search was performed to identify studies relating to pregnancy outcome and its association with maternal perception of fetal movements. Suspected preliminary or redundant material was excluded. Only publications from Western countries dating from after 1970 were included. Twenty-four studies were identified. Available data demonstrate that reduced fetal movements are associated with adverse pregnancy outcome, both in high and low risk pregnancies. Increased vigilance towards maternal perception of movements (e.g. by performing movement counting studies) reduces stillbirth rates, in particular stillbirths deemed avoidable. While screening for fetal well-being by maternal fetal movement counting can reduce fetal mortality rates, a resurrection in research activity is urgently needed to optimize its benefits.
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