Louise MacLeod is a mum and NHS worker who helped launch the Aska Maternity Movement Bracelet to help reduce stillbirths and to raise vital funds for her local NHS.
I asked Louise to tell us all about the Aska Maternity Movement Bracelet.
How did the Aska Maternity Movement Bracelet come about?
When I was pregnant with my son in 2016 I looked for a way to help me keep an eye on his movements. When I couldn’t find anything suitable I used my craft supplies to create a bracelet for me to wear. After I had my son I started working with my local maternity services and we worked on a project to raise awareness about how important it is to monitor your babies movements and what to do should you have any concerns. I mentioned the bracelet that I had created and we then set out to make a similar bracelet available to help more women.
Can you explain how Aska works in regards to pregnancy?
When a woman starts to feel their baby move they can start using the bracelet. As they progress with their pregnancy movements will become stronger and more regular and they will start to notice patterns in these movements. Every time they feel their baby move they move the hoop over the next bead on the Aska maternity movement bracelet. This will help them be aware of how often their baby moves. If one day they should notice they haven’t moved the hoop as much as they would usually it could be a sign that they need to speak to their midwife.
Can you explain how Aska works in regards to breastfeeding?
After their baby is born the bracelet can continue to be used as a feeding aid. If breastfeeding you can swap the bracelet from wrist to wrist to help remember which side you last fed one. You can also use the hoop to monitor how often the baby is feeding.
Have you had much feedback from Mums-to-be?
When we launched the bracelet locally we asked women to complete a survey. This enabled us to gather feedback in the bracelet which was really positive. After this feedback we altered the design slightly and then launched the Aska bracelet to a wider audience.
We have received great feedback from women who have received the bracelet. One of the local ladies who used the bracelet last year got in touch with us because when she was wearing her bracelet she noticed she hadn’t moved it as much. This prompted her to get in touch with her local triage unit. She was advised to attend the unit for monitoring. After being monitored the team decided it would be best to induce the lady to ensure her baby was delivered safely. This was an amazing story to hear as it meant that the bracelet had done its job and helped this lady and her baby.
Have you had any feedback from health professionals?
The trust that we worked with to develop the bracelet have always supported the project. They are still using the bracelets locally which helps prompt discussions about how important it is to monitor movements and helps raise awareness on what to do should they have reduced movements.
The designs are beautiful what inspired you?
The Aska Maternity Movement Bracelet design was developed by Davidov London Jewellery and I absolutely love how they have created an amazing one-off piece of jewellery that people can keep for a lifetime. The gemstones used are beautiful and I really feel using the bracelet is such a great way to holistically bond with your baby and the movements as well as embracing the changes your body is going through as well. The Davidov London Jewellery team have used some amazing gemstones for all the bracelets. Amazonite with its fresh, turquoise, water-like colour is very well known as a stone of hope and faith; romantic yet powerful hues of rose quartz believed to evoke love; moonstone with its ethereal milky white translucent colour embodies eternal female principle and nurturing quality.
The round shape of the charm signifies the circle of life, symbolic new birth: “In the circle of life, It’s the wheel of fortune, It’s the leap of faith, It’s the band of hope”, as beautifully described in the iconic “Lion King” theme song. The charm, available in a choice of sterling silver or gold plated sterling silver, offers a place where following the birth mother can add that “special touch” and engrave the baby’s name or initials. With carefully crafted and selected materials they wanted to make sure that Aska bracelets are something that can be kept in the family for many future generations as a symbol of the everlasting rhythm of life and love, passed on to daughters or daughters in love, a real treasure to cherish forever.
What’s your top tips for mums to be regarding movement and when to start monitoring this?
Always be aware of your babies movements but the main tip would be if you ever notice a change, a reduction or even a dramatic increase, then don’t wait call your team straight away and they can advise you what to do next. Women can usually start to feel movements between 16-24 weeks but these will become stronger and more regular between 24-28 weeks. We advise starting to use the bracelet from around 24 weeks.
You can purchase The Aska Maternity Movement Bracelet by following the link
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