Student midwife’s poster on fetal movements goes viral

Myscha Dene fetal movements pregnancy poster

A poster designed by a student midwife at the University of South Wales is set to be used by health boards across the UK and beyond.

Myscha-Dene Bates produced the poster to dispel myths commonly heard about babies’ movements in pregnancy, to help encourage pregnant women to monitor their unborn baby’s movements, and to contact their midwife or local maternity unit if they notice any changes.

International Midwives' Day

As we celebrate International Day of the Midwife (Friday 5 May), the 28-year-old said her own personal experience of pregnancy and birth inspired her to become a midwife.

She added: “When we were set a project to design a public health poster as part of our final year coursework, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

“There is literature available on the subject of fetal movement, but it can be quite wordy and lengthy, so these often just get put into a handbag, never to be read again – I wanted this to be different.

“I had a clear vision of how I wanted my poster to look; as if the messages were coming from the baby to the mother.

“But more importantly, I wanted it to give clear information about what is and isn’t normal when it comes to fetal movements. Many women continue to act on information from non-evidence based sources, or age-old myths such as ‘babies move less in the third trimester’, which is just not accurate. This can prevent them from seeking help quickly enough, or even at all.

“Many women also continue to use fetal dopplers at home as a method of reassurance when they feel baby’s movements have altered, but these can give false hope when they pick up a heartbeat, and are not advocated by midwives.

“I feel it is our responsibility as midwives to make every effort to dispel myths such as this, which is why I created Make My Movements Matter, to encourage women and midwives to work together to bridge that gap.

Myscha Dene
Myscha-Dene Bates, Student Midwife

Global interest

Myscha recently shared her poster on social media and has been overwhelmed by the huge response it has had from midwives, clinicians and pregnant women across the UK and even as far as Australia.

As well as being adopted by midwives at Cwm Taf University Health Board, the poster will be used by one of the UK’s largest NHS trusts in London and others across the country.

It has also been backed by fetal medicine consultant Dr Bryan Beattie from Innermost Learning, a charity dedicated to supporting students and midwives in improving education in women’s health and pregnancy care.

Dr Bryan Beattie said: ‘’I am delighted to support Myscha with this project, which really helps to reinforce the importance of reporting altered fetal movements in pregnancy as a means of identifying babies at risk of stillbirth, in the hope that many may be saved.’’

The poster has received positive feedback and support via Twitter by Public Health Wales, which leads the Safer Pregnancy Campaign, and the Royal College of Midwives.

Myscha added: “I put my heart and soul into the poster. I love being creative and looking for ways I can make positive changes for the benefit of women and families, but never did I expect it to go anywhere beyond my course tutor, except in a folder on my desktop.

“The fact that it has been used and shared globally by so many people has been incredible. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to make a difference to one aspect of midwifery care that I am especially passionate about. The support I have received has been overwhelming and I feel exceptionally proud.”