How pregnant women learn about foetal movements: Sources and preferences for information

Annie McArdle, Vicki Flenady, Jocelyn Toohill, Jenny Gamble, Debra Creedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Unexplained late gestation stillbirth is a significant health issue. Antenatal information about foetal movements has been demonstrated to reduce the stillbirth rate in women with decreased foetal movements. Midwives are ideally placed to provide this information to women. Aim: To investigate pregnant women's perceptions of information about foetal movements and preferences for receiving information. Methods: This prospective, descriptive study was conducted in the antenatal clinic of a large metropolitan maternity hospital. Findings: Pregnant women (. n=. 526) at 34 weeks gestation or later were recruited. Only 67% of women reported receiving information about foetal movements. Women reported that midwives (80%), family (57%), friends (48%) and own mother (48%) provided this information. Midwives were the most preferred source of information. Around half (52%) of the women used the internet for information but only 11% nominated the web as their preferred information source. Conclusion: Women prefer to be given as much information about foetal movements as possible. Women favour information from health professionals, mainly from a midwife. Midwives are well-placed to partner with pregnant women and give them unbiased and evidenced based information enabling them to make decisions and choices regarding their health and well-being. While the internet is a prevalent information source, women want to be reassured that it is trustworthy and want direction to reliable pregnancy related websites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-59
Number of pages6
JournalWomen and Birth
Issue number1
Early online date25 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Australian College of Midwives.


  • Antenatal care
  • Antenatal education
  • Foetal movement
  • Maternal knowledge
  • Stillbirth

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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