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NHS Trust launches campaign to help prevent still births

County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is joining forces with Smooth Radio and local charity campaigners to help raise awareness of the importance of fetal movement during pregnancy and help reduce the numbers of stillbirth. 

The NHS Trust is working with 'Sands' - the stillbirth and neonatal death charity - to support women during pregnancy to understand what is normal for their baby's movement and to act quickly if they notice any change of something 'just doesn't feel right'. 

NHS CD and D fetal movements

Louise de Luen, Maternity Matron at County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust said: "Every pregnancy is different and every baby is different but by around 20 weeks an expectant mum will start to feel her baby move and learn their baby's pattern of movement. Our campaign aims to raise awareness of acting on any change to this pattern and encourages expectant mums to trust their instincts and feelings when it comes to their own baby. 

"Often expectant mums might feel like they are over reacting or that they don't want to bother us. As midwives we are using this campaign to say that this is not the case. We would much rather be contacted at any time and to be able to put a mum's mind at ease. Our pregnancy assessment units are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week with our friendly team of midwives available to offer advice and support." 

Across County Durham and Darlington, there were 16 stillbirths in 2016/17 and the campaign also follows the launch of the Government's national strategy in 2017 to reduce stillbirths by half by 2025.  

Ashleigh Corker, North East Network Coordinator at Sands said: "The Durham and Wearside Sands support group wanted to become involved in County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust's important fetal movement campaign, as members of the group understand that changes in fetal movement can be a strong indicator that a baby may be unwell. 

"We welcome the campaign and hope that the clear preventative message provided will give expectant mothers and their families the confidence to report changes in baby movements and know their concerns will be listened to.  Like many of the bereaved mothers we speak to, I experienced a change in movements and things did not feel right just before my son Thomas was stillborn at 39 weeks in 2007.  

"We hope the campaign will help to reduce the number of 15 babies who die before, during and shortly after birth every day in the UK."

To help raise awareness of the campaign the NHS Trust is working with Smooth Radio to host two events over the coming months. The events are taking place on Friday 25th May in the Cornmill Centre in Darlington and Sunday 8th July at Dalton Park Shopping Centre. 

Midwives from CDDFT are also organising a sponsored walk from Shotley Bridge Community Hospital to University Hospital of North Durham in support of the campaign. The walk will take place on Saturday 23 June and is open to the public to join - there are more details on the CDDFT website: or CLICK HERE



Published 22 May 2018



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