Kicks Count’s petition to ban the sale of over-the-counter home dopplers was delivered to Downing Street on Wednesday 12th July with support from doctors, midwives, healthcare professionals and bereaved mothers.
Elizabeth Hutton, CEO of Kicks Count, said:
"We are delighted that our petition calling on Theresa May to ban home dopplers now has over 12,000 signatures.
‘We have been overwhelmed by the support shown by people across the UK and abroad who have expressed support for our campaign to ban these dangerous home doppler devices which provide false reassurance to expectant women and can lead to stillbirth."
The news that Mothercare has decided to discontinue the sale of the devices was followed shortly by another retailer, Idealo.
We are delighted that retailers have started responding to the campaign, and hope that many more will follow.
We believe that Kicks Count’s petition is a vital step in reducing stillbirth and at Tommy’s, we strongly advise pregnant women against using them.
This is because, unless you are professionally trained, it is easy to confuse what you are hearing and be falsely reassured.
However tempting it may be to use mobile apps and home dopplers, they are not a safe way to monitor your baby’s heartbeat.
Our midwife Kate explains:
"When using an app or hand held doppler it is possible for there to be some confusion with the mother’s own heartbeat and pulsing of the placenta which can be doubled to sound like the baby’s heartbeat. This means that when you listen in, you may not be hearing the baby’s heartbeat at all and can be falsely reassured. It is also very difficult to listen to the baby’s heartbeat before about 14-16 weeks, so if you are unable to hear it, this may cause lots of unnecessary panic and anxiety."
Monitoring your baby’s movements is still the best way for parents to keep an eye on their wellbeing. Learning your baby’s pattern of movements is important so you can notice any changes.
If you are worried about your baby’s movements, you must seek advice from your GP or midwife immediately.