Background: Besides the frequency of the fetal movements the woman's perceptions of the movements can give additional information about the unborn baby's wellbeing.
Objective: To explore women's perceptions of fetal movements in full-term pregnancy.
Methods: Interviews with 40 women in gestational weeks 37 + 2 to 41 + 5, all with uncomplicated pregnancies. All women were recruited from one antenatal clinic in the capital of Sweden. With an inductive approach using a content analysis the answers to the question: "Can you describe how your baby has moved this week?" was analysed.
Results: Fetal movements were categorized into seven categories: strong and powerful, large, slow, stretching, from side to side, light, and startled.
Conclusions: Almost all the women perceived the fetal movements at the end of pregnancy as strong and powerful, and internal pressure. Including women's perceptions of fetal movements in the obstetric anamneses, gives valuable information about the fetus.
2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved