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.”

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.”

For the last three weeks, a number of local expectant mums have been involved in a pilot scheme for the Maternity Movement Bracelet. 

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