Background: Globally there are 2 million stillbirths annually, 98 % of which occur in low-income settings (LICs). Stillbirth may be associated with the maternal perception of reduced fetal movements (RFM) in LICs. However, little is known about maternal experiences of RFM and subsequent engagement with health services in LICs.
Aim: This narrative literature review aimed to improve understanding of views and experiences of RFM in pregnant women in LICs using information synthesized from international studies.
Methodology: The literature reviewed qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method studies guided by a systematic approach. The findings were discussed narratively.
Findings: Forty studies were identified, only four of which were from LICs. The four main themes identified were:- Maternal perception of fetal movements, facilitators and barriers to seeking health care, RFM as a predictor of fetal outcomes, knowledge of fetal movements and management strategies.
Conclusion: A variety of factors may influence the maternal perception of RFM and experience of care. As most studies were conducted in HICs, it is imperative to describe women’s experiences of RFM in LIC settings.