'It Is A Godsend': App To Help Reduce Stillbirth Rates Trialled
Could a revolutionary smart-phone app help reduce the heartbreaking rates of stillbirth in Australia?
That's what researchers in Queensland are hoping to achieve, by helping women monitor a baby's movements in utero.
The 'My baby's movements' app is all about increasing a mother's awareness of their baby's kicks and reporting concerns early.
"Stillbirths seem to occur in an apparently healthy and normal mum and baby, and sometimes the only sign that your baby isn't OK is a decrease in movements," said Professor Vicki Flenady from Mater Research Institute.
"We're hoping that this app will reduce the delay in women reporting decreased movement and we'll identify then more babies that are at risk."
The app is simple to use.
Once registered, at 28 weeks, a mum-to-be can track the movement of their baby on a daily basis.
Mum Lizzie Harms' first baby Archie was born premature.
Tragically, her second baby, Daisie was stillborn at 27 weeks.
"It was a very normal pregnancy right from the word go. But there were a few moments there when I felt bubby wasn't moving as much," she said.
"It was more my gut feeling, looking back now I remember I had googled 'can your baby die without knowing.' I think as women we know when something is terribly, terribly, wrong."
When she fell pregnant again, she used the app to help her navigate every kick and wriggle.
"It is a godsend. There were lots of occasions where I thought 'I don't think bubby has moved' and so it prompted me to sit down, lay down, spend the time and before I knew it I thought of course she's moving so it actually prompted me to do something."
The app is being trialled at the following hospitals across Australia and New Zealand and runs until May 2019:
Gold Coast University Hospital Logan Hospital Ipswich Hospital Mater Mothers Private Hospital Mater Mothers Public Hospital Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Townsville Hospital Sunshine Coast University Hospital Cairns Base Hospital Nepean Hospital Liverpool Hospital Canberra Hospital Monash Medical Hospital Dandenong Hospital Casey Hospital Sunshine Hospital Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Royal North Shore Hospital Auckland Hospital Christchurch Hospital Middlemore Hospital Royal Women's Hospital Melbourne Mercy Hospital for Women Northern Hospital Royal Darwin Hospital Women's and Children's Hospital