Evidence base: Reduced fetal movements

A summary of the guidelines, key texts and online resources to help in the management of reduced fetal movements

Ultrasound scan of a 37-week old fetus; movements vary from four to 100 per hour (Photograph: SPL)
Ultrasound scan of a 37-week old fetus; movements vary from four to 100 per hour (Photograph: SPL)


Information on examination of the pregnant abdomen is given on page 253; there is also detail on all aspects of antenatal care.

The RCOG guidelines are up-to-date, concise and relevant, containing further, detailed information on the management of RFM.

  • Unterscheider J, Horgan R, O'Donoghue K, et al. Reduced fetal movements. The Obstetrician & Gynaecologist 2009; 11(4): 245-51.

This includes a useful flow chart outlining which interventions to use when for a first presentation of RFM

Key text

  • Sanfilippo JS, Smith RP. Primary Care in obstetrics and gynecology.

A handbook for clinicians (2nd edition). London, Springer, 2007.


An excellent presentation from the GP shared care update forum in Australia, with much of the evidence being UK and Europe-based.

Both of these websites contain excellent support and information for mothers.


Contributed by Dr Ciaran Crowe, ST2 in obstetrics and gynaecology, Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath, West Sussex


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