Anna Akselsson - Awareness of fetal movements and pregnancy outcomes

Hello and congratulations to your PhD,
People at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health and others are interested to know a little more about your work.

Anna Akselsson Photo: Pia Hultkrantz

What is your thesis about?

Awareness of fetal movements and pregnancy outcomes. We performed a cluster-randomized controlled trial including 40 000 pregnant women. All maternity clinics in Stockholm were randomized to intervention with Mindfetalness or routine care. Mindfetalness is a self-assessment method for the woman to practice, in the end of pregnancy, to become familiar with the unborn baby’s fetal movement pattern, which is a common measurement for the baby’s wellbeing.

Which is the most important key result? 

It is advantageous for pregnant women and their babies, with maternal awareness and observation of fetal movements. Women registered at maternity clinics randomized to Mindfetalness started their labor spontaneously to a higher extent, than women registered at a maternity clinic randomized to routine care. Further, women in the Mindfetalness-group had cesarean sections to a lower extent and less babies were transferred to neonatal care. Less babies were born small for gestational age and from 42 weeks’ gestation. Pregnant women felt secure and calm by practicing Mindfetalness. The midwives distributing the leaflet about Mindfetalness experienced that it helped them in their work, when informing women about fetal movements.

Is there something else you would like to add? Maybe something that surprised you during your PhD student journey?

It was really enriching, fun and meaningful to perform a large clinical trial including an intervention in the capital of Sweden including all maternity clinics.

How can this new knowledge contribute to improve women’s and children’s health?

By my research pregnant women have the possibility to receive important information about fetal movements and get access to a tool to become familiar and attach to the unborn baby. The Mindfetalness method is available for anyone to use, now in 17 different languages at The method is advantageous for both the mother’s and baby’s health. In the guidelines for care of pregnant women in the Stockholm region, the Mindfetalness method is now suggested as a tool for women to use during pregnancy.

Thank you very much Anna and good luck in the future. 

Awareness of fetal movements and pregnancy outcomes