It’s been a dramatic story on Coronation Street – 13-year-old Faye Windass’s shock pregnancy and birth. But now it’s being talked about for the wrong reasons – after mums and experts criticised the TV soap for giving ‘misleading’ pregnancy advice.
So what was said?
Pregnant Faye Windass was sitting chatting to her friend, 16-year-old schoolboy Craig Tinker. The conversation went like this:
Craig: I’ve been doing some reading up online, can you feel it moving about less?
Craig: The baby. As it comes closer to the time, it moves about less because it hasn’t got as much space.
Why it’s wrong
Stillbirth charity Count The Kicks immediately reacted on social media, tweeting: “Babies’ movements DO NOT slow down at the end of pregnancy. A change in movement can be a key warning sign the baby is in distress.”
Indeed, your baby’s movements should continue all the way through your pregnancy, right up until birth. However, as your baby grows bigger, the way you feel your baby moves may be different – but the frequency should not change.
“Your baby’s movements don’t slow down towards the end of pregnancy. If a woman notices any changes then she should report this to her midwife immediately,” Louise Yuill, a lecturer in midwifery at Salford University, told the Manchester Evening News.
What Coronation Street says
Corrie bosses insist that Craig’s comments weren’t meant to be taken as correct advice.
“Craig’s interpretation of what he read online was that of a 16-year-old boy who does not have any knowledge of pregnancy,” a spokeswoman for the ITV soap said. “He is not a medical professional. We are very grateful to the charity for raising awareness of the fact that babies should continue to move right up to birth.”
Fans of the soap immediately leapt onto Facebook and Twitter to complain about the dangerous comments.
“Please could you correct what you have just said. It could be the difference between a live baby and fetal loss,” said student midwife Zoe Howson on Corrie’s Facebook page. “Babies don’t move less and this could be a sign that there is a real problem. Please make sure women know if their baby’s movements reduce they MUST contact their midwife as soon as possible.”
Sadly, another viewer posted her own personal warning: “Yes, people told me that the baby moves less at the end. It’s an old wives tale. My baby stopped moving as much and it was stillborn.”
What you need to know
There’s no set number of times you should feel your baby move each day – every pregnancy is different. The best thing to do is get to recognise what your baby normally does. “You may find your baby is more lively in the mornings, or when you’re going to sleep, for instance,” explains midwife Nikki Khan. “Become familiar with your baby’s ‘routine’. Then you’ll know what’s normal for your baby. If you’re at all worried, trust your instincts and call your midwife.”