A grieving mother shares how using a home foetal listening device gave her ‘false reassurance’ that her unborn baby was alive.
Vicki McNelly says she thought she heard her baby moving when using a Doppler kit but her daughter was born stillborn the following day.
Mrs McNelly, from Mortimer near Reading, is calling for the Doppler devices to be banned and is warning women not to use them.
The kits can be bought over the counter and manufacturers say the kits are safe and should not be linked to stillbirths.
However, after waking up during the night sensing that something was wrong, McNelly used her doppler device to check everything was okay.
After hearing what she thought was movement she convinced herself everything was okay.
Despite this, just the following day, Mrs McNelly said a hospital sonogram revealed her child, who she had named Evie, had died in the womb.
Experts from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists also discourage the use of doppler devices as they believe they can cause huge anxiety among pregnant women.
Dr Alison Wright says, “women may be falsely reassured as hearing a heartbeat is not necessarily an indication that it is well with the baby.”
“Unlike doctors and midwives who are specially trained to use foetal heart monitors, women who use Dopplers themselves may easily mistake their own heartbeat for their baby’s.”
Mrs McNelly has now joined stillbirth charity Kicks Count to call for the devices to be banned – with a petition reaching more than 11,000 signatures.
Source: The BBC