Fetal movements and fetal outcome: a prospective study

Obstet Gynecol. 1981 Apr;57(4):431-6.


Two hundred sixty-four antenatal patients were monitored by maternal observation of fetal movements to predict fetal condition at birth. Abnormal fetal movements were significantly associated with fetal death as well as with poor fetal condition at birth. The sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of monitoring abnormal fetal movements are presented. The mean weekly count decreased with advanced gestational age but not predictably so in each patient. Fetal outcome was studied prospectively in 138 patients with normal fetal movements and 23 patients with abnormal movements at term. Perinatal outcome was significantly poorer in the group with abnormal movements (P = .0015). Cognizance should be taken of patients reporting a decrease in fetal activity at term, as this may include fetal compromise.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apgar Score
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / physiopathology
  • Fetal Distress / physiopathology*
  • Fetus / physiology*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Movement*
  • Pregnancy
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk