Factors associated with reduced foetal movements in Iringa, Tanzania
Introduction: Maternal perception of foetal movement ensures foetal wellbeing. Reduced foetal movement is associated with foetal hypoxia, stillbirths, and intrauterine foetal growth restriction (IUFGR). This study aimed at assessing factors that are associated with maternal perception of reduced foetal movements.
Method: This was a cross-sectional study that was conducted at Iringa Regional Referral Hospital from 1st January – 30th June 2022. A purposive sampling technique was used, and SPSS version 25 software was used for data analysis.
Results: 41.3 % of study participants were aged 24 – 34 years, with a mean and SD of 29.08 ±7.53. 75% were not employed, 52.8 % of study participants delivered from 37 – 42 weeks of gestational age, 66.1% had a posterior placenta and only 24.0 % had an anterior placenta. Women who delivered at 28 – 36 weeks of gestational age were about 4 times more likely to experience reduced foetal movement compared to those who delivered at 37 – 42 weeks of gestation (AOR=4.162, 95% CI 2.174 - 7.966, p=<0.0001). Those who attended the Antenatal clinic 2 – 3 times were 2 times more likely to complain of reduced foetal movement compared to those who attended 4 times and above (AOR = 2.655, 95% CI 1.311 - 5.375, p=0.0067).
Conclusion: Reduced foetal movements are associated with lower gestation age at delivery and decreased antenatal clinic attendance in Iringa, Tanzania. All pregnant women should be encouraged to make early antenatal clinic attendance and should attend adequate visits. Healthcare providers should educate and create awareness on methods of assessing foetal movements.