Warn­ing over home doppler ma­chines

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS -

Christmas shop­pers have been warned not to buy home doppler ma­chines, which are sold with a view to en­able preg­nant women to check their baby’s heart­beat.

Cam­paign­ers said the de­vices of­fer false re­as­sur­ance and should be banned.

The char­ity Kicks Count, which en­cour­ages women to keep a close check on baby move­ments, said the hand-held de­vices are not ap­pro­pri­ate presents for loved ones this Christmas.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive El­iz­a­beth Hut­ton said: “With Christmas com­ing, we are urg­ing peo­ple not to buy home dopplers for their loved ones as gifts.

“They are not de­signed to be used as a fun nov­elty prod­uct but should be used only by pro­fes­sional med­i­cal staff.

“In the wrong hands they can pro­vide false re­as­sur­ance – the pla­centa, and the mother’s heart­beat can both eas­ily be mis­taken for a foetal heart­beat lead­ing to tragic con­se­quences.”

Home dopplers are avail­able to buy for around £30, while phone apps also claim to mon­i­tor an un­born baby’s heart­beat.

Kicks Count is call­ing on the Govern­ment to ban home dopplers, and a pe­ti­tion on the is­sue has so far at­tracted more than 13,500 sig­na­tures.

Blog­ger Gemma Brush­neen, 31, from Wilt­shire, is also back­ing the cam­paign.

She lost her baby So­phie at 24 weeks af­ter be­ing falsely re­as­sured by a home doppler de­vice.

She said: “My mes­sage to other mums is that th­ese should not be treated as a bit of fun.

“Don’t buy th­ese de­vices and please don’t rely on them to check your baby’s health.”

Pic­ture: PA.

Gemma Brush­neen with her hus­band El­liott, 30, and chil­dren Izzie, 7, Ma­son, 2, and Ol­lie, 4.

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