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Expecting parents urged to contact hospital if their baby has lack of movement.

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County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust (CDDFT) is urging all parents to-be to call their Pregnancy Assessment Unit (PAU) if they have any concerns about their baby's movements.

Midwife, Julie McKay said: "We really must stress that you are not wasting our time. Please call PAU if you feel any changes in your baby's movements.

"We are available 24 hours, seven days a week please don't wait until the next day. There is no set pattern or time of day when your baby will move - you will just get to know.

"If you feel something isn't right then please pick up the phone and give us a call."


Over half of women who have suffered a stillbirth noticed their baby's movements had slowed down or stopped. As your baby grows, both the number and type of movements will change with your baby's activity pattern.

Usually, afternoon and evening periods are times of peak activity for your baby. During both day and night, your baby has sleep periods that mostly last between 20 and 40 minutes, and are rarely longer than 90 minutes. Your baby will usually not move during these sleep patterns.

Expecting mum, Olivia Smurthwaite called PAU after her baby hadn't moved for a few hours.

She said: "Everybody was lovely, told me to come down straight away and they would check the baby and myself to see what was happening.

"I didn't feel like I was being silly or wasting time as the staff were so great and said I did the right thing. I gave birth to a baby boy in August on my due date. Please don't wait - if your baby stops moving call PAU immediately."



Expecting mum Jessica Thorne experienced reduced movements of her baby after an incident in her car. Hear her experience of contacting PAU in this short video.



fetal movement

If you experience reduced movements please call PAU on the following numbers:

  • Darlington Memorial Hospital 01325 743025
  • University Hospital of North Durham 0191 3332142.

Once contacting PAU you may be asked to attend, hear from Danielle Harrison Antenatal Outpatient Team Lead who explains what will happen and see a tour of PAU at University Hospital of North Durham in this short video.


'In recent times, I have utilised admissions to Richardson for respite direct from my fracture clinic, even at weekends. I have never worked anywhere with this efficiency before - it is reassuring and invaluable for the patient.'

Patient, Lowson / Starling Wards, Richardson Hospital