9 July 2019

A new Maternity Movement Bracelet has been launched to help pregnant women under the care of Shropshire’s two acute hospitals to track the movements of their unborn baby.

Funded and supported by The Local Maternity System (LMS) in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, the Maternity Movement Bracelet will be given to expectant mums at 24 weeks of pregnancy under the care of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford.

The Maternity Movement Bracelet has 14 beads with a Tiger Eye bead, known for releasing fear and anxiety, to mark the start of the day. Expectant mums then simply move a small hoop around each bead on the bracelet when an episode of movement is experienced. By doing this they should find it easier to notice their baby’s pattern of movement and understand when to expect to feel movement.

The Maternity Movement Bracelet was developed by Louise Macleod who also works for the LMS. Louise said: “I came up with the idea of the bracelet when I was pregnant but couldn’t find anything to help me monitor my baby’s movements.

“I created a beaded bracelet using craft supplies and wore it from 25 weeks onwards. I found it particularly reassuring on busy days when I couldn’t concentrate on my baby’s movements as I normally would, and it helped me notice patterns of movement I don’t think I would have otherwise have found.

“Once my son arrived and I was breastfeeding, I used the bracelet to remind me which side I needed to feed on next by swapping it from wrist to wrist, and it was great at the beginning to help me monitor how many times he had fed each day.”

Louise Macleod, creator of the Maternity Movement Bracelet

Anthea Gregory-Page, Deputy Head of Midwifery at SaTH, said: “By using the bracelet we hope that any changes to a baby’s movements will be noticed at the earliest opportunity and encourage expectant mothers to contact their midwife if they have any concerns. The bracelet comes with instructions on how to use it and information on who to contact should any changes or reduced movement be experienced.”

Fiona Ellis, Programme Manager for Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin LMS said: “The aim of the Maternity Movement Bracelet is to encourage women to monitor their baby’s movements and know what to do if they are worried. Feeling your baby move is a sign they are well, so it is really important if you notice your baby isn’t moving as much as usual or there has been a change in the movement patterns that you call 01952 565948/01952 565712 immediately.”

For the last three weeks, a number of local expectant mums have been involved in a pilot scheme for the Maternity Movement Bracelet. To read about their experiences, see the case studies below.

The launch of the Maternity Movement Bracelet forms part of a wider campaign launched earlier this year to raise awareness of the importance of monitoring baby movements.

Expectant mothers can find out more about monitoring their baby’s movements at www.tommys.org.uk

To find out more about the Maternity Movement Bracelet, please contact louise.macleod5@nhs.net or speak to your midwife.

Read all our case studies here:

Before I started maternity leave I had a fast-paced and demanding job working for an insurance broker. I found it difficult to keep track of my baby’s movements as I was busy and distracted and although I would feel my baby move I found it hard to establish whether there was a set pattern during the day.

I think the Maternity Movement Bracelet is brilliant. It’s really changed how I think about my baby’s movements and it’s a constant reminder of how important it is to monitor movements and when to seek advice. As this is my second pregnancy I feel it has helped even more as I have less time on my hands!

I like the colour of the bracelet, it’s a really cute design and I think many women will benefit from using it. I also feel it’s a talking point and helps you to bond with other expectant mums and helps to start a conversation and potentially a friendship when the baby arrives. If I saw this at a baby event I would definitely purchase one. I also think the little bag and the guidance notes are a great addition, especially with the telephone number for the midwife-led unit. I can honestly see this being rolled out nationally!

The Maternity Movement Bracelet has allowed me to establish a set pattern of movements during the day and it reminded me to focus on those days and times where there was less movement. One particular day I didn’t feel as much movement so I made sure that I took some time to have a sweet drink and snack and took a break from work to ensure that I did feel the baby move. It has been a comfort as well as a reminder, I forgot to wear it one day and I felt quite lost without it.

I will often say to my husband how active the baby has been during the day and show him how often I have moved the loop around the bracelet. My daughter also likes to be involved and moves the loop around for me.

I have found the Maternity Movement Bracelet so helpful. This is my second pregnancy and I used an app with my first, but having the bracelet has made it much easier to track movement through the day as it is always in front of me. For that reason it’s also been a lot easier to notice a pattern of movement, and it will be a lovely keepsake once baby arrives.

Because of the Maternity Movement Bracelet I have found myself talking more to my partner about the baby’s movements. Knowing the pattern helps too – my first only moved once a day so he’s actually been able to feel this baby kicking!

The Maternity Movement Bracelet has been very useful in tracking my baby’s movements. I have found it more reassuring and beneficial than counting individual kicks as I can split the day into morning/afternoon/evening sessions and count baby’s pattern of movement to compare this across days and weeks. Overall my daily total has been working out around the same, but it’s interesting to note and be aware of periods of movement outside the ‘normal’ pattern. Some days I’ve been unable to wear the bracelet due to the nature of my job and although I still try to be aware of my baby’s movements, I do like having the visual reference on my wrist.

I have discussed the baby’s movements with my partner who has also been involved by asking how I’ve got on each day and if I’m getting a similar number and pattern. I think it makes him feel more involved

I am a Community Matron which is very busy work, so it can be hard to think about my baby’s movement as the day goes by very quickly. The Maternity Movement Bracelet has definitely made me more aware. It has also been a talking point between my husband and myself as he takes great interest in how the baby is moving and, if the hoop hasn’t moved much, whether that means I’m working too hard and not noticing. He is more aware of my well-being as well as our baby’s.

I think the bracelet is a pretty keepsake and a fabulous idea to make you think more about your normal pattern of movement. I feel quite privileged to be trialling it and I hope making mums more aware of their babies’ movements will help them to seek support faster if they notice a reduction in frequency.

I was quite anxious about my baby’s movements throughout my third pregnancy. My life was very busy with two young sons, and my work as a Chartered Surveyor meant that I was on the move and on my feet for much of the time. Often it would get to 8pm and I wouldn’t have had the chance to concentrate on a pattern of movement at all during the day.

On more than one occasion I had to call my midwife and have my baby’s heartrate monitored. I tried to make a note of her movements but it isn’t easy to bring out a notebook or your phone when you are at work or in the middle of cooking for your children! I didn’t ever manage to establish a set pattern of movements and as a result, apart from when I was being reassured by a midwife, I didn’t ever feel completely confident during my pregnancy.

If I had had the Maternity Movement Bracelet I think I would have been calmer and more aware of my daughter’s movements throughout my pregnancy. If I have a fourth child (a big if!) then I would love to use the bracelet. Pregnancy can be a time of anxiety and uncertainty, and anything that can help you to retain control during that time is well worth it.