Pregnancy myths busted in Kiwi study

Billie Bradford, a PhD student, says there's a lot of confusing information out there.
Billie Bradford, a PhD student, says there's a lot of confusing information out there.

Pregnancy researchers are hoping the findings of a new study will give expectant mothers a better idea of what's normal when it comes to their unborn babies.

An Auckland University-led study into foetal movements has found most expectant mothers feel their babies move strongly in the evening and overnight, but less so during the day.

But there's no 'normal'.

"Some babies will move a lot in the womb, and some will not. There's a really wide variation in what is normal," study leader Billie Bradford told Newshub.

Bradford, a PhD student, says there's a lot of confusing information out there.

"Women are often told if they're not feeling the baby move to have a glass of water or eat something sugary to get the baby moving - but we found those things didn't seem to have any effect at all.'

The research, carried out at the University Auckland and the Liggins Institute, may inform future guidelines about what foetal movement to expect in the few weeks before birth.

"Even though there is a link between decreased movements and stillbirth, most women who report a drop in activity will go on to have a healthy baby," said Bradford.

"The problem is, there is limited evidence about what normal patterns of movement look like, and around the world women are getting mixed advice. We thought this would be useful information, particularly for first-time mothers who are getting to know what a normal pattern is for them."

Fewer than 4 percent of mothers reported not feeling kicks in the evening - so if you don't, it pays to get it checked out right away.

"It may be an antisocial hour for adults, but it is a social hour for the foetus (and incidentally the newborn), so lack of movement at that time warrants an urgent check-up."

The research was published in journal PLOS One.

Newshub.

 

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz