Measurement of Maternal Mindful Awareness of Fetal Movement.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of midwifery & women's health


anxiety; fetal movement; maternal-fetal attachment; mindfulness; psychometrics


INTRODUCTION: Decreased fetal movement is a common concern late in pregnancy that may be associated with increased fetal morbidity and mortality. Limited research suggests a relationship between maternal psychological factors and perception of fetal movement. The goal of this study was to test the reliability and external validity of a novel self-report instrument for maternal mindful awareness of fetal movement.

METHODS: Pregnant women who were at 20 weeks' gestation or later and feeling regular fetal movement (N = 497) were recruited online through a commercial pregnancy website to complete an internet survey from April to May 2016. The online survey included demographic and pregnancy characteristics, psychological and mindfulness measures, and investigator-developed items on mindful awareness of fetal movement. Reliability and validity of the instrument were tested with exploratory factor analysis, correlations with psychological variables, and hierarchical linear regression.

RESULTS: Exploratory factor analysis of mindful awareness of fetal movement items using principal components analysis showed a 2-factor structure, noticing and distracted, with internal consistency of α equal to .69 and .57, respectively. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that noticing was associated with increased gestational age, mindfulness (observing facet), and maternal-fetal attachment. Distracted was associated with increased education level and prenatal anxiety and with decreased mindfulness (nonjudging facet).

DISCUSSION: There was moderate internal consistency in the items measuring mindful awareness of fetal movement. Findings suggest relationships between mindful awareness of fetal movement and state mindfulness, maternal-fetal attachment, and prenatal anxiety. More research is needed to further develop items for a mindful awareness of fetal movement scale suitable for research and clinical practice.

Clinical Institute

Women & Children


Obstetrics & Gynecology