My Baby's Movements

My Baby’s Movements is a study that allows pregnant women track their baby’s movements using a mobile phone and helps them keep tabs on any changes.


What is the My Baby's Movements (MBM) study?

The My Baby’s Movements study is for all women In New Zealand women who are pregnant with a single baby and planning to birth at National Women’s, Auckland City Hospital, Middlemore Hospital or Christchurch Women’s Hospital.

You’ll be asked to use a free mobile phone app to record your baby’s movements in the final trimester of pregnancy. The app is designed to make you more aware of your baby’s movements and reduce the delay in letting your midwife or obstetrician know when baby may need more attention due to reduced movements.

The MBM study is trying to find out whether using this mobile phone app improves your awareness of how much (or little) your baby is moving in order to reduce the number stillbirths after 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Why is the My Baby’s Movements study important?

Stillbirth affects over 2,700 families in Australia and New Zealand each year and can have a devastating impact for women and their families. Stillbirth rates haven’t improved much for over two decades.

Pregnant women who notice decreased fetal movements (DFM) is the most common reason for unscheduled antenatal visits. It is also strongly associated with an increased risk of stillbirth.

As a pregnant woman, your own awareness of DFM could be a simple screening tool for stillbirth, but not everyone is aware of the importance of DFM and might not seek healthcare quickly enough. An intervention that increases mum’s awareness of DFM, such as counting baby’s movements, could reduce the delay in women notifying their healthcare provider, and therefore reduce stillbirth rates.

The MBM study will gather evidence to assess the benefits and potential harms of a fetal movement mobile phone app, including the possibility of unnecessary intervention and increased worry for women.  

Who can take part?

The My Baby’s Movements (MBM) Study is taking place at 27 hospitals across New Zealand and Australia. If you’re pregnant with a single baby and planning to birth at National Women’s, Auckland City Hospital, Middlemore Hospital or Christchurch Women’s Hospital you can take part. The MBM app will be offered over a one year period from 11 June 2018 to 13 May 2019.

Let your midwife or obstetrician know if you’d like to take part, or contact the MBM research midwives to register. Email or phone: 021 0831 4824

What do I have to do?

If you take part, you’ll need to download and use the My Baby’s Movements phone app. You can set the app to prompt you to check your baby’s movements at a time and frequency that suits you.

You need an individual access code to use the app. If you’re more than 28 weeks pregnant and haven’t received this information in the mail or from your LMC, you can contact the MBM research midwives. If you don’t have a smartphone can request to receive information via text message.

Are there any risks?

It’s possible that becoming more aware of your baby’s movements might make you more anxious, however previous studies using text messaging reminders in pregnancy showed reduced anxiety among women. All the information provided by the MBM app are supportive and respect your right to make your own decisions.

We hope that through using the app you get to know your baby’s own pattern of movements, and that this helps you decide if or when you need to contact your LMC. We don’t yet know if the study will increase or decrease the average number of times women contact their LMC about their baby’s movements.  

Find out more

You can read more about the study here. You can also contact the study midwives if you have any questions about taking part. Email or phone 021 0831 4824.