The danger of misinformation
Like many mothers, I was so excited to be expecting my first baby and downloaded about half a dozen pregnancy apps to my phone so I could follow my baby's growth and development.
It was a little thrill to read what my baby was doing in there "This week she's developing fingernails! This week she can drink her pee!"
The apps were so informative regarding each stage of pregnancy that I never considered the advice they were giving could be both dangerous and detrimental to my baby's life.
So when one app told me that the baby’s movements may start slowing around 35 weeks due to decreasing space to move in my womb, I thought, okay then, this baby's right on schedule.
What the app didn't tell me was that a reduction in movements is one of the only signs some mothers get of their baby being unwell or in distress. What the apps didn't tell me about, were ways to protect my baby from stillbirth.
Instead, the information they gave me reassured me enough not to go in immediately and have my baby checked. When it's your first baby, you don't really know what to expect, and this myth was ever present toward the end of my pregnancy, friends and family advised the same - that babies slow down toward the end of pregnancy. So I didn't think too much else about it.
There is no regulation by health authorities for the information these apps may offer, and advice given may be unsafe for you and your baby. While they are fun to follow, the information within them does not constitute medical advice and does not come from an approved health body. Facts or information within them may not be in line with current best practice or guidelines.
The misinformation that still exists surrounding movements during pregnancy is still largely out there, and it is scary. And it is not just confined to pregnancy apps, friend and family's advice, or the internet. I went to a day retreat for pregnant women during my rainbow pregnancy and was alarmed at the information given by a midwife to a room full of pregnant women; knowing all that I know now, it didn't put me at ease that even all health professionals are across safe pregnancy practices.
It's up to us, as mothers and families who know firsthand the devastating places incorrect information can lead, to change these myths and work toward ensuring the accurate information is out there and is a constant, so that other families don't have to live through the pain of losing a precious baby.
If you are looking for further information about safe pregnancy and healthy movements, Still Aware have dedicated information available which is based on the most recent research.
Don't wait if something feels wrong. You know your baby much more than any app, or any other person.