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TV presenter reveals how 'counting kicks' saved her baby from stillbirth

When she's not writing, Claire Gillespie can most often be found wiping snotty noses, picking up Lego, taking photos of her cat or doing headstands.

Being aware of your baby's foetal movements could save its life

From SheKnows UK

Sky News presenter Emma Crosby has revealed that "counting her kicks" saved her pregnancy from ending in stillbirth.

More: Experts say 1 in 3 stillbirths in the U.K. are preventable

Crosby, 38, told Daily Mail she had a "textbook" pregnancy at 39 weeks, then she noticed "something had changed" in her baby’s movements. She got to the hospital "just in the nick of time" as her daughter Mary, now 3, became distressed and swallowed her meconium (a baby's first waste) while in the womb.

The journalist had been introduced to the Kicks Count website by a friend. The charity advises expectant mums to call their midwife if they think their baby's movements have slowed down or stopped altogether.

Earlier that day, after noticing that the baby wasn't as active as normal, Crosby and her partner went to hospital for a checkup, but were told everything was fine and sent home.

However, Crosby "couldn't shake the feeling that all was not well" and called the hospital again later that night after noticing the baby hadn't moved for some time.

After another two hours with no movement, Crosby was rushed to hospital at 6 a.m., where medical staff detected the baby's heartbeat, but panic ensued when the heart rate dropped, and the baby was delivered by emergency C-section.

More: Mum whose baby was stillborn makes a difference for other bereaved parents

"I'm so very grateful that I knew about the importance of monitoring foetal movement, otherwise Mary might not be with us today, which is a terrifying thought," said Crosby, who is now an ambassador for Kicks Count.

All expectant mums can get to know their baby's regular pattern of movement, but it's important to know that all babies are different. According to Kicks Count, foetal movements vary from four to 100 every hour.

Counting the kicks: What you need to know

  • Pregnant women should be aware of their baby's movement from 16 to 24 weeks onwards.
  • Make a mental note of when your baby moves the most — it could be at a particular time of the day or night, after you eat a meal, or while you're walking or lying down.
  • Set aside some time each day to focus on your baby’s movements. If you find it hard to keep track, you could buy a kick counting wristband. Each time you feel the baby move, you move the counter along, allowing you to record movements by certain times of the day.
  • If you notice a decrease in your baby's regular movement pattern, contact your midwife.

More: Mum wins lawsuit against boss who wouldn't let her rub her own belly

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