Prenatal care providers encourage mothers in their third trimester of pregnancy to monitor fetal movement. This generally involves counting kicks. In many cases, the obstetrician, family practitioner or other prenatal care provider will task the mother with logging kicks over a 10-minute time span. The physician would then encourage the mother to reach out and schedule an appointment in the event the mother notices decreased movement.
Even with this data mothers may need to push for needed intervention. A piece in The Washington Post recently shared the story of a woman who noticed reduced fetal movement during her daily kick count check. The woman contacted her care provider and went in to receive an exam. She chose to receive an ultrasound which showed the baby was in distress. Physicians preformed an emergency cesarean section to deliver the baby. During the procedure, physicians discovered that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the infant's neck multiple times. The physician stated that had they waited another day, the infant would likely have died.
Data shows that counting fetal kicks results in a reduction in stillbirths. A recent study out of Iowa provides support. Iowa began a "Count the Kicks" campaign in 2008. Since its inception, the state has experienced a 28 percent drop in stillbirths -- a reduction attributed to the "Count the Kicks" campaign.
Unfortunately, medical professionals do not always act upon a mother's concerns. If you were in a similar situation and feel that your medical professional did not take your concerns seriously and a failure to act resulted in serious injury or death to your infant, legal remedies may be available.