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[Comment] Encouraging awareness of fetal movements is harmful

The concept that perception by pregnant women of reduced or altered movements of their fetuses can be used to predict stillbirth, thereby enabling early birth to save the baby, seems plausible.1 However, although mothers of stillborn babies, with hindsight, remember altered movements preceding the diagnosis of the death more often than controls,2,3 to our knowledge, no one has ever shown this prospectively. With few exceptions,4 the accuracy of tests of fetal health done in response to altered movements has been poorly evaluated, and the only treatment—delivery—can harm as well as benefit.

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