- Baby Saves
“Recognizing decreased fetal movement was certainly a part of the medical decision to intervene and deliver Zelda early, at 36 weeks, 2 days. I was diagnosed with mild preeclampsia nearly two weeks prior and had started to record kick counts. After a failed attempt to turn the baby out of the breech position, a recorded heart rate deceleration and poor fetal heart rate variability on NST after the procedure alerted me to the need to monitor her movement more closely.
I had previously clocked her movements as about 10 in 10-15 minutes and had not really had any concerns prior to week 34. Just before the external cephalic version attempt, however, I noticed she seemed to take closer to 20 minutes to get to 10 movements. And after the version, using the Count the Kicks App daily, I objectively was able to record that she started to take nearly 30 or even 45 minutes to reach that.
At my follow-up appointment, two days after the version attempt, Zelda did have a reassuring NST, but after I mentioned the decreased movement in combination with my increased blood pressure, I was upgraded to preeclampsia with severe features and my medical team and I decided it best to have a C-section that afternoon just to be safe.
As it turned out, it was good we did! Even though her non-stress test had looked OK, her decreased movements were a harbinger of fetal distress. She was found to have a tight nuchal cord x2, which was preventing her from turning out of breech lie and would have likely led to fetal distress had we delayed the delivery much longer. Additionally, my placenta had to be removed in several pieces as it was so calcified; this also would have likely contributed to worsening fetal hypoxia had I remained pregnant for even just a few more days. As it was, her APGARs were six and eight; just barely avoiding a NICU stay, Zelda is now home and doing well.
Using the Count the Kicks App was definitely a good choice. The App was an important part of my final days of pregnancy and contributed to the overall picture of needing to deliver her early for both her health and mine. The objective data on movement provided by the App convinced me to share my concern about Zelda’s decrease in movement. As a physician, I will absolutely be recommending the Count the Kicks app to my own patients in the third trimester!” -Elaina M., Zelda’s mom
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