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Evolving pattern of fetal movements throughout a healthy pregnancy
  1. Lauren O'Connell1 and
  2. Alexander E P Heazell2
  1. 1Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK
  2. 2Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, Division of Developmental Biology and Medicine, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lauren O'Connell; lauren.o'connell{at}


A 31-year-old woman with a history of stillbirth due to placental abruption at 29 weeks’ gestation and one first trimester miscarriage documented a continuous record of her perceived fetal movements from 28 to 38 weeks’ gestation. Repeated ultrasound examinations confirmed a viable pregnancy, with normal growth, liquor volume and Doppler profile. She delivered a healthy male infant at 38 weeks and 3 days’ gestation. The data collected give a detailed record of fetal activity in a healthy pregnancy. Perceived fetal activity increased as pregnancy progressed and was greatest in the evenings. We also found that clusters of movements, which have previously been reported as protective against stillbirth, were felt earlier on in pregnancy.

  • obstetrics and gynaecology
  • pregnancy

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  • Contributors Supervised by AEPH. Patient was under the care of AEPH. Report written by LO’C.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.