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A decrease in cesarean sections and labor inductions among Swedish women by awareness of fetal movements with the Mindfetalness method
Sophiahemmet University.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0830-217x
Sophiahemmet University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9672-7698
2020 (English)In: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, ISSN 1471-2393, E-ISSN 1471-2393, Vol. 20, no 1, article id 577Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Maternal perception of decreased fetal movements is commonly used to assess fetal well-being. However, there are different opinions on whether healthcare professionals should encourage maternal observation of fetal movements, as researchers claim that raising awareness increases unnecessary interventions, without improving perinatal health. We aimed to investigate whether cesarean sections and labor induction increase by raising women's awareness of fetal movements through Mindfetalness. Further, we aimed to study perinatal health after implementing Mindfetalness in maternity care.

METHODS: In a cluster randomized controlled trial, 67 maternity clinics were allocated to Mindfetalness or routine care. In the Mindfetalness group, midwives distributed a leaflet telling the women to focus on the character, strength and frequency of the fetal movements without counting each movement. The instruction was to do so for 15 min daily when the fetus was awake, from gestational week 28 until birth. In this sub-group analysis, we targeted women born in Sweden giving birth from 32 weeks' gestation. We applied the intention-to-treat principle.

RESULTS: The Mindfetalness group included 13,029 women and the Routine-care group 13,456 women. Women randomized to Mindfetalness had less cesarean sections (18.4% vs. 20.0%, RR 0.92, CI 0.87-0.97) and labor inductions (19.2% vs. 20.3%, RR 0.95, CI 0.90-0.99) compared to the women in the Routine-care group. Less babies were born small for gestational age (8.5% vs. 9.3%, RR 0.91, CI 0.85-0.99) in the Mindfetalness group. Women in the Mindfetalness group contacted healthcare due to decreased fetal movements to a higher extent than women in the Routine care group (7.8% vs. 4.3%, RR 1.79, CI 1.62-1.97). The differences remain after adjustment for potential confounders.

CONCLUSIONS: Raising awareness about fetal movements through Mindfetalness decreased the rate of cesarean sections, labor inductions and small-for-gestational age babies.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT02865759 ). Registered 12 August 2016, www.clinicaltrials.gov .

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020. Vol. 20, no 1, article id 577
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:shh:diva-3866DOI: 10.1186/s12884-020-03268-1PubMedID: 32998708OAI: oai:DiVA.org:shh-3866DiVA, id: diva2:1501863
Available from: 2020-11-18 Created: 2020-11-18 Last updated: 2021-10-05Bibliographically approved

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Akselsson, AnnaRådestad, Ingela

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