Why I support Kicks Count in the ban of home dopplers

DIY Daddy BlogAfter losing Joseph, it was inevitable that any future pregnancies would be hard. Six years later, with fifteen miscarriages behind us, I was over the moon to finally be pregnant with Eva yet, as my pregnancy progressed, my biggest concern was that history would repeat itself and she would be stillborn. My fears at that time were very real, so much so that they consumed my every thought, just waiting for the worst to happen, wondering if I would realise if she was in distress, whether there would be time to seek help, whether I would even know should the worst happen.

And so when a friend suggested that I use a home doppler, it seemed like the answer to my worries. I could use the doppler as and when I needed reassurance, as many times a day as was necessary, all day, every day if that was the case, whatever it took to get me through the next nine months. I told myself that with the use of a doppler I wouldn’t have to be that woman, the neurotic Mother who phones the midwife every two minutes with concerns about their babies movements, who visits the doctor twice a week worried that something is wrong, who spends nine months up and down to the maternity unit convinced that their baby won’t make it home.

It was surprisingly easy to buy a doppler, there were countless sites offering me one to rent for as little as £9 a month or to buy for just £30. I decided to buy one and when it arrived the next day, at just 13 weeks pregnant, I scanned the instructions and spent the next hour trying to find the heartbeat. After hysterical tears and so much un-necessary upset, when I eventually found it I felt a rush of relief that my baby was safe and well, although, with hindsight, at that gestation, I was most likely hearing the sound of my own.

I look back on those days when she didn’t move until lunch time, when I had slipped getting out of the bath, when I laid awake night after night worrying that her movements had slowed, the days I’d had some some cramping, when I’d felt that overwhelming fear that something wasn’t quite right, and how lying there listening to her heartbeat had reassured me that she was perfectly safe and well. Using the doppler had meant that I had been able to get through the day without calling the midwife or visiting my GP, and “waste their time” with every little niggle.

Luckily our story had a happy outcome and Eva arrived safely into the world, and as I packed away the doppler I was grateful to it for getting me through the last eight months of worry. I remember passing it on to a friend, telling her, “I would have gone insane if it wasn’t for the doppler!”, attributing the fact that she had been born healthy down to the doppler for allowing me to monitor her heartbeat throughout.

For somebody as neurotic as I, with a lengthy history of baby loss, it now seems ludicrous that I allowed a £30 doppler to reassure me that my baby was healthy. I look back on that time and feel absolutely horrified that something I believed to be the right thing for my baby could potentially have been so harmful, and that I trusted a battery operated machine to reaffirm the well being of my child. And although I count myself very lucky that she is here safe and well, the truth is, for many women, that isn’t the case.

Back then I had no idea that home dopplers pose so many risks, nor that they are adding to the UK’s stillbirth rate. I didn’t realise that rather than being a way to reassure women their babies are healthy, they are simply causing women to overlook the fact that their baby is in distress.

If there is one thing I have learnt over the last few years, it’s that regardless of whether you’re phoning the midwife every single day, whether you’re a frequent visitor to the day unit or on first name terms with your GP, if you have concerns about the well being of your baby, be that woman. As a bereaved parent, having given birth and said goodbye to my son in twenty four short hours, believe me when I tell you that there is nothing I wouldn’t give to go back and be that woman.

Kicks Count have launched a campaign to banish the use of home dopplers and a petition to run alongside this calling for a ban on the sale of these devices on the consumer market

What are the risks of using home dopplers?

Kicks Count explain, “…the most significant risk of using a home doppler is that mums may be falsely reassured when they hear a heartbeat, when actually their baby could be in distress. This could lead to life threatening delays in seeking medical assistance. The best indicator of fetal wellbeing is always baby’s movements and this is what we should be focusing on – not these cheap imitations of medical equipment.”

Kicks Count go on to explain that the “heartbeat” you hear with one of these dopplers, may not even be the babies heart beat at all, “….home dopplers are not microphones. They are not amplifying the sound of your baby’s heartbeat. They are sending ultrasound waves into your body that reflect off moving blood vessels and simulate a sound. The placenta also pulses at the same rate as the heart and the mother’s main artery runs across the abdomen and that can also be picked up on a doppler. There are so many vessels that can simulate the same sound as a fetal heart.”

Given the fact that midwives train for three years to differentiate between these sounds, using equipment costing upwards of £400, a £30 device off Amazon and a quick You Tube tutorial will not give you the same care and experience as that of a midwife.

The fact of the matter is, if a baby’s movements change, it can be a sign that they are unwell. Just because they have a heartbeat does not mean anything, we all have a heartbeat right up until the moment we pass away. All a heartbeat tells you is that the baby is currently alive, which is the only time something can be done to help a baby in distress. If you wait until you can’t find a heartbeat it’s too late, and it is so important that mums do not use the presence of a heartbeat as a sign their baby is well.

There are 6,500 stillbirths or neonatal deaths in the UK every year – that is 15 every single day –  and the Government has set a target to reduce that figure by half by 2030. We should be taking every opportunity to save as many of these lives as we can. The banning of home dopplers will be a vital and effective step in reaching that target.  I urge those of you who are using dopplers to stop, those who intend to use them in future pregnancies to reconsider, and all of you reading to sign this petition and support Kicks Count in their quest to, save lives.

Please sign here. 

 

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148 Comments

  1. July 3, 2017 / 5:56 pm

    A very informative post, thank you for raising awareness. Sorry for your loss. x #BigPinkLink

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:26 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. xx

  2. July 3, 2017 / 8:41 pm

    I was induced because of reduced movement and I remember feeling so reassured in the hospital hooked up to the monitor, listening to the sound of her heart beat while I waited for the contractions to start so I can understand why parents would want to use a Doppler at home. I had no idea about the risks though. This is terrifying. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I’ve signed the petition and will share too. #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:26 pm

      I agree, with my pregnancies being so fraught with worry the sound of that heartbeat was music to my ears. The difference is that when a midwife listens to the heartbeat she isn’t simply looking out for the sound, she is reading it in a way that she has studied for years in order to do so. A £30 device is in no way comparable to the equipment they have, and the only reassurance we should be seeking is that of a midwife. xx

  3. July 3, 2017 / 9:55 pm

    Oh bless you hun, I am so sorry to hear about all your losses, I knew about Joseph but I never realized that there were others 🙁 I am so sorry hun. Dopplers is not something I had heard of before but I am so glad that you managed to get Eva safely, thank you for raising awareness. Your posts never fail to move me x

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Thank you Ana, with hindsight I would never have used a Doppler had I known. I am very lucky to have my four beautiful babies, not everyone is that lucky I know. xx

  4. July 3, 2017 / 9:56 pm

    Until I read this post, I had no idea of the downsides of home dopplers and honestly didn’t think much about it. You do make some pretty good points here for getting rid of them as they would appear to offer no positive purpose.

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:24 pm

      Until recently nor did I! I was blissfully unaware that they were contributing to the stillbirth rate. It is SO important to allow your midwife to do her job, any niggles or worries – GET CHECKED OUT! xx

  5. Nelu Mbingu
    July 3, 2017 / 10:55 pm

    This is a very informative post. Thanks for sharing your experience. I wish you and your baby all the health and blessings.

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Thank you. xx

  6. July 4, 2017 / 8:51 am

    Such an informative post and one that is so important. I am such a worrier and have been tempted to use a home Doppler during both my pregnancies, but always managed to resist due to the issues raised in this post.

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:22 pm

      I completely relate to anyone who worries during pregnancy, I literally went crazy with worry. With hindsight I should have taken those worries to the midwife though, I wish that more women trusted their instinct and got checked out. xx

  7. July 4, 2017 / 8:53 am

    I’m sorry to hear about your losses, I have to admit, I had no idea of the dangers of using home dopplers x

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      Thank you very much. xx

  8. July 4, 2017 / 9:28 am

    It is so important to raise awareness of these issues – my midwife told me not to buy one because they can give you a false sense of security. Although tempting, I’m glad I didn’t and sought help when I noticed a change. #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      That’s great that your midwife gave you that advice, I’m so pleased about that. My midwife never once told me of the dangers with Eva, and luckily I didn’t use it with Megs and Harry, but I wish I had been made aware beforehand. xx

  9. Rachel
    July 4, 2017 / 9:35 am

    Aww such a lovely post to read, and its a scary thing being pregnant, making sure you can feel the baby move. My third pregnancy was early by 8 weeks, and we wasn’t sure she was going to survive weighing 2 pound 11 ounces. She is doing so well and is now a lively 4 year old. So when I got pregnant with baby no.4 I was up at the hospitals for scans for reassurance.

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      Ahh I am so glad that she is doing well! I had constant scans and monitoring with all of mine but those moments inbetween I wrongly relied on the Doppler, I was very lucky that our outcome was a happy one. xx

  10. July 4, 2017 / 10:31 am

    Really interesting post thanks Laura, I had no idea. I can completely understand why someone would buy a home doppler but if they knew the facts and risks involved I bet most would think twice. Well done for raising awareness about this, I’ve signed the petition and shared on my personal Facebook account.
    #Dreamteam

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Thank you so much, every signature counts. I had no idea either, which is shocking given I had lost a baby in that way, but not one midwife told me of the dangers even when I had said I was using one at home! I hope that they are banned and thanks to charities like Kicks count we can lower the UK stillbirth rate. xxx

  11. July 4, 2017 / 10:52 am

    Thank you for sharing this, I never used a Doppler with my little boy for fear of scaring myself. Love and hugs to you zx

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Thank you Katrina. There is that too, they can cause so much un-necessary upset! xx

  12. July 4, 2017 / 11:08 am

    Thanks for raising this issue – I never used one myself but I have friends who have, and I never considered the fact that they could do more harm than good. #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Thank you so much for reading, it’s such an important campaign. xx

  13. July 4, 2017 / 12:27 pm

    When my wife was pregnant, I didn’t even know there were kick counters! It might have saved a lot of stress and worry that we had! Although, the false heartbeat risk would have been a real worry… So actually, we probably wouldn’t have gotten one anyway.

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      The fact that you may not be hearing the heartbeat with a home Doppler is a real worry, so many women are falsely reassured. xx

  14. July 4, 2017 / 2:24 pm

    I completely understand, I would have done the same. It must have been an incredibly hard time for you. I believe you just need to do everything you feel you have to. Great article.

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you Eva. xx

  15. July 4, 2017 / 3:13 pm

    This is a really informative post, thank you so much for sharing. I can definitely understand how dopplers could be a really bad thing for some people to have at home.

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Thank you Sarah, it’s such an important message to share. xx

  16. July 4, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    Firstly, I am so sorry for what you’ve had to go through. I’ve had 3 miscarriages and thought that was hard. This is such an important message to put out there. I had reduced movement with my 3rd baby and reluctantly phoned midwife (I felt I was being over dramatic) but I know if I’d had a Doppler it might have reassured me into not ‘bothering’ the midwife. I ended up being kept under obs in the hosp for 24h as baby was being lazy though thankfully everything turned out just fine. It is heartbreaking that the use of Dopplers is actually contributing to stillbirth rates x #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      July 4, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Thank you Jemma, and I’m so sorry for your losses. That’s exactly it, I think as women juggling a million different things, we don’t want to “Bother” the midwife with every niggle and worry – and we SHOULD!! I’m so glad that your baby was just being lazy, so many women are not as fortunate and fifteen babies a day wont make it home. It’s just devastating. xxx

  17. July 4, 2017 / 6:45 pm

    I had a complete mare with my first when the midwife picked up the wrong heartbeat, which was much slower than that of my daughter. I was rushed in and everything was fine, but if it happens to the professionals it’s definitely not worth risking checking yourself. I totally agree, ban them! #triumphanttales

    • Laura Dove
      July 5, 2017 / 3:00 pm

      Absolutely! I had the same with Joseph at 13 weeks, the midwife told me that I had miscarried as she could not find a heartbeat…and that’s the professional! Home dopplers can be so detrimental to a babies health. xx

  18. July 4, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    You are a super amazing strong woman to have dealt with all that loss before your beautiful girl came along! I never knew home dopplers were a thing, but it sounds like a really bad idea given what you’ve said. Hopefully the petition causes something good to happen!

    • Laura Dove
      July 5, 2017 / 2:15 pm

      Thank you Samantha. I really hope the petition leads to a ban on the dopplers too, fingers crossed. xxx

  19. July 4, 2017 / 7:22 pm

    This is such an important issue. I would have been reassured by a Doppler too, so worrying.

    • Laura Dove
      July 5, 2017 / 2:15 pm

      Really worrying, I hope the ban goes ahead. xx

  20. July 4, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    I’m so sorry for what you had to go through.
    It’s scary that these are so easily available and used by people with no training in them – as you say, midwives train fo three years to know what they’re doing with much better equipment, it’s scary that anyone would rely on these!

    • Laura Dove
      July 5, 2017 / 2:14 pm

      Thank you Jess. It’s very scary but the fact is, women ARE doing just that. I hope that the ban goes ahead. xx

  21. July 4, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    I hadn’t thought about the downside of using home dopplers, it’s so important though reading this! Thanks for highlighting the issue, will be signing the petition 🙂 x

    • Laura Dove
      July 5, 2017 / 2:13 pm

      Ah thank you so much! Really appreciate that! xx

  22. July 5, 2017 / 6:52 am

    I totally and utterly agree with you, I would love every pregnant women to read this. So true!

    • Laura Dove
      July 5, 2017 / 2:11 pm

      Thank you so much. xx

  23. July 5, 2017 / 8:23 am

    I had no idea that there were so many risks to using a doppler, you’d assume they’d be safe. I am so happy that Eva was born healthily and you didn’t have to go through the same heartbreak again x

    • Laura Dove
      July 5, 2017 / 2:11 pm

      Thank you Rhian, I am sure that I would have gone to the midwife had I been worried but you never know. I could well have been reassured by the Doppler and it be more serious. xx

  24. July 5, 2017 / 8:24 am

    I knew that there was a home device that measure the baby’s heartbeat but never knew the consequences! You are a strong mama!

    • Laura Dove
      July 5, 2017 / 2:10 pm

      Thank you so much. xx

  25. July 5, 2017 / 9:28 am

    This is such an informative post as I bet so many people wrongly think these are safe, I did and nearly brought one myself until my midwife advised me against it xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 5, 2017 / 2:10 pm

      That’s great that your midwife advised you not to! That should always be the case shouldnt it? xx

  26. July 5, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    I didn’t even know these things existed! TBH, it seems better to go and bother your GP or midwife if you’re worried as they know what’s what and can do the appropriate checks if they think there’s an issue. As you say, Be That Woman! Sending hugs

    • Laura Dove
      July 5, 2017 / 2:09 pm

      Always be that woman! Thank you so much for reading. xx

      • July 6, 2017 / 12:16 pm

        Back again from #stayclassymama 🙂 Still Being That Woman

  27. Joanna
    July 5, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    I don’t have children so this is the first time I am hearing about a home Doppler. While the idea of it sounds really good, it’s shocking to read that it actually contributes to a higher rate of stillborn births. That is really sad.

    • Laura Dove
      July 5, 2017 / 2:08 pm

      It’s very sad and also terrifying too! They definitely need banning for home use, I hope the petition is successful. xx

  28. July 5, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    Oh Eva is so pretty. Sorry for all the loses you have. This is absolutely a great post educating mom’s to be aware about their pregnancy. Thank you so much for sharing.

  29. July 5, 2017 / 3:31 pm

    Thank you for sharing this useful information, especially I am 26 weeks pregnant and was thinking about getting one.

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:19 pm

      OH I am so glad that I was able to share this with you and make you reconsider. xxx

  30. July 5, 2017 / 6:37 pm

    Hearing about your loss left me speachless, I’m so sorry. Your little Eva is absolutely gorgeous

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Thank you so much Rani. xx

  31. July 5, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    Sorry to hear that you have gone through so much. However, great to see you using your experience to help others and raise awareness 🙂 x

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      Thank you Melanie. xx

  32. July 5, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    I can’t even comprehend how you got through the losses, admittedly, I may have done the same thing as you in the situation. It’s good that on reflection you know how harmful the dopplers are and that you are warning others about them. xxx

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:16 pm

      Thank you, it’s always therapeutic to be able to share my story and raise awareness. xx

  33. July 5, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    I used one of these for my first son, and yes I relied on it. Being a 1st time Mum I had no clue what I was feeling, or finding. I never thought about the risks. Great campaign to talk about, and very informative.

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:15 pm

      Thank you, I think many of us use dopplers without being aware of the dangers. xx

  34. July 5, 2017 / 10:49 pm

    My Mum is a midwife and curses at the use of home dopplers!

    Thanks so much for sharing your story and raising awareness, it’s such a great thing to do! xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:13 pm

      Thanks Jess, I imagine midwives hear so many horror stories with regards to dopplers! xx

  35. July 6, 2017 / 7:59 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience, it’s easy to see how many would find comfort in a doppler, but it’s very important to know the risks too. So sorry for your loss x

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:10 pm

      Thank you so much Jemma. xx

  36. July 6, 2017 / 8:36 am

    This is SO important.
    I sent myself round the bend worrying after something a midwife said, I’d probably have jumped at the chance of one of these but as you’ve stated its really not a good idea.

    I do hope people realise how they can be misread & how if they’re ever worried they need to go to a medical professional x

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:09 pm

      Absolutely, pregnancy can be fraught with worry and a Doppler can add to that worry too! There are so many women rush to the midwife in hysterics when they can’t find the heartbeat, only to realise they aren’t trained to find it in the same way a midwife does. At the same time there are far too many women falsely reassured by a dopppler when their baby is in danger. xx

  37. July 6, 2017 / 8:53 am

    I totally agree they need banned, they are so unreliable and a risk too. I had no idea the risks when I was pregnant

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:08 pm

      Nor me, it’s shocking how many women have lost a baby due to false reassurance from a Doppler. xx

  38. Dannii
    July 6, 2017 / 9:11 am

    I used one of these when I was pregnant, but it was mainly as a nice way to connect with my baby. If I ever had any concerns, then I went straight to the midwife – the same way I would have done if I hadn’t used one.

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:07 pm

      Yes many women do, I just think banning them altogether would be the only way to help lessen the problem. xx

  39. July 6, 2017 / 11:33 am

    We never knew the risks of using a home doppler! You were right to trust your instincts though and people should feel that they are wasting doctor’s time when it comes to pregnancy. Sorry to hear about your loses and I hope this post helps change someone’s mind when it comes to dopplers in the future x

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Thank you so much. I really hope the petition leads to a ban on home dopplers. x

  40. Jen
    July 6, 2017 / 11:45 am

    My pregnancy after having experienced a stillbirth was horribly difficult. I never felt at ease, even with each and every positive hospital visit. I had a friend who had a home doppler, and they asked if it were something that may help me. But it was these exact same reasons that I didn’t want one. I knew I wasn’t experienced enough, I knew that I couldn’t possibly know if I was doing it right.
    Your posts are always so heartfelt Laura, and I admire you for being brave enough to still talk about it all. And sharing this kind of information is so important.

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:03 pm

      Thank you so much Jen. I can totally relate to that anxiety, I pretty much lost the plot during my pregnancy with Eva and yet with hindsight the Doppler was such a terrible choice to make. I really hope that this campaign can raise awareness of how important it is to go to your midwife and not self assess. Much love to you. xx

  41. July 6, 2017 / 1:33 pm

    Lady, you are a strong one! as I was going through your post, I thought to myself I am not really half a person you are…Keep posting informative post…love to ready them

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:01 pm

      Thank you, I really appreciate that. xx

  42. July 6, 2017 / 2:54 pm

    wow. I had no idea. This is going on the “don’t want” list straight away.
    #dreamteam

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:00 pm

      I’m glad to have raised awareness with this. xx

  43. July 6, 2017 / 2:55 pm

    This is so informative, and brilliant for raising awareness around this incredibly important issue. It’s so easy to see why a Doppler would sound like a dream come true, but like you say, the training to differentiate the sounds takes years. Although I worked in wound care when I was a nurse, I used Dopplers to determine arterial blood flow for leg ulcer treatment, and even after doing the job for 8 years, I’d sometimes still ask a colleague to help me determine what I was hearing! That’s how hard it is! And from what I believe, midwives are brilliant at wanting to bring you in for every concern-even if it is a new one every day-not like GPs and practice nurses who can be quick to fob you off. xx
    #bigpinklink

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 9:00 pm

      Yes totally! Midwives would rather you rang them ten times a day, I think it’s US who feel silly for “bothering” them. I will always tell people to ring their midwife on repeat if they are worried about their babies, I wish that I had. xx

  44. July 6, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    I would never have thought that a home doppler could be so dangerous. Great campaign to be focussed on

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 8:59 pm

      Thank you Kara. xx

  45. July 6, 2017 / 3:30 pm

    I completely agree with this in principal, but I also know next time I’m pregnant and between the 12 and 20 week scans I’ll want to get the doppler out again and try and have a listen. I know it shouldn’t be relied upon though, and never even used for reassurance when your baby is big enough to feel it kick. I think it’s probably better to ban them and have a few people, who use it like I did, sulking than to have people missing important signs because they’ve used it wrong. I think it is a good cause to back.

    #Stayclasssymama

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 8:58 pm

      I totally agree with that, it’s always better to have a few people who are annoyed than to have babies put at risk. My Doppler actually kept me sane (ish) through my pregnancy with Eva but with hindsight I really wish I hadn’t used it! xx

  46. July 6, 2017 / 4:04 pm

    I have no idea about this issue but I think if it helps keep families especially the babies safe then it’s something that people should really ban. It’s nice that you’re raising awareness and sharing your story as well.

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Thank you Carol. xx

  47. July 6, 2017 / 5:01 pm

    I never realised a lot of that. I never had one with my first but did wonder about it. Thanks for sharing such an informative post. I’m sharing across my social media platforms xx #DreamTeam

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Thank you so much Susie, I really appreciate that. xx

  48. Juliana
    July 6, 2017 / 5:30 pm

    Sorry about your loss. Bless you and your family.

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 8:56 pm

      Thank you Juliana. xx

  49. July 6, 2017 / 5:55 pm

    I follow Kicks Count on Facebook and think all the campaigning they do to bring healthy babies into the world is incredible. I have signed the petition as I think it is so important women know not to use these, I didn’t in either of my pregnancies. I would much rather see a midwife than take my child’s life in to the hands of marine I wasn’t really trained to use and then something terrible potentially happening. Great post for raising awareness hun #ppstsfromtheheart xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 8:56 pm

      Thank you Wendy, it’s an honour to be a part of this campaign. I am so grateful to Kicks count for the hard work they do! xx

      • July 16, 2017 / 9:40 pm

        Popping back over again from #blogcrush…thanks again for writing this very important post xx

        • Laura Dove
          July 17, 2017 / 5:51 pm

          Thanks lovely xxx

  50. July 6, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    As a Mum who experienced a great deal of anxiety during that pregnancy after a traumatic loss, I considered getting a doppler too. My step Mum however is a midwife and strongly advised against it at the time. Reading this reinforces that decision as I had no idea it was such a problem – these devices should be banned without question.
    Thanks so much for linking to #coolmumclub

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 8:54 pm

      I love when I hear midwives are telling their patients not to use dopplers. I am saddened that mine did not! She never once told me not to use the home Doppler, which with hindsight is terrible! I’m really hoping this petition goes ahead. xx

  51. July 6, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    Signed! This is so incredibly important. Shame on the people who sell these things. I’m so sorry for your loss, but thankful that these devices didn’t impact you long term.

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate that others are supporting this petition. xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      Thank you so much, I really appreciate that others are supporting this petition. xx

  52. July 6, 2017 / 8:24 pm

    I never bought a doppler but I did try (and fail) to use a stethoscope for a little bit of reassurance with my firstborn. I had no idea how dopplers worked so this is really important to raise awareness about the potential risks. Always consult a medical professional if you have any concerns

    • Laura Dove
      July 6, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      Ahh bless you, I think we all need reassurance at times but that’s why we should seek reassurance from medical professionals regardless of how silly we feel or whether we worry about “wasting their time”, it’s SO important! xx

  53. July 6, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    I am pregnant with baby number 4 and have never used a home Doppler. Since I read about how difficult it is to find the baby’s heartbeat and how it could actually be something else I never saw the point. As you rightly say, monitoring baby’s movements are much more important. #coolmumclub

  54. July 7, 2017 / 5:54 am

    I never knew they were impacting on the stillbirth rate. I didn’t have one but know friends who did. I can understand why some mum’s would take comfort in having one but I’m no midwife and therefore I am not trained to use them or understand them so I left it to the experts.

    • Laura Dove
      July 7, 2017 / 4:20 pm

      Nor me until recently. It’s shocking that so many babies are being put at risk due to dopplers, especially when they are marketed as a reassurance! xx

  55. Tanya Brannan
    July 7, 2017 / 10:53 am

    When I first starting reading this I thought the Doppler was a great thing and anything to ease the fears of a worried mum could only be a great idea.
    Then as I read more, I realised the seriousness of using a battery operated machine to monitor your most precious cargo. I never knew that the sounds were not always the heartbeat and it could lead to a sense of positivity when something could be drastically wrong.
    Thank you for educating me and so many others!
    Oh and Eva is beautiful! xx

    • Laura Dove
      July 7, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      Thank you Tanya, I’m really pleased that I can share this with those women who perhaps were unaware of the dangers – as I was too! I really hope that the petition will lead to a ban in home dopplers, it is ALWAYS best to see a midwife about any worries. I regret so much that I didn’t act on my fears. xx

  56. July 7, 2017 / 11:25 am

    Kick the counts is such an important campaign. Teaching mums to be to trust their instincts and to feel confident about seeking advice and help when they need it. Thanks for linking up to #ThatFridayLinky

    • Laura Dove
      July 7, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      Absolutely, information is power as they say! xx

  57. July 7, 2017 / 11:42 am

    Informative post on a such a hard topic. I had a doppler because I was curious to hear my baby’s heartbeat. Personally I would never have used it in place of medical advice, but if as Kicks Count suggest, this is what sometimes happens, that I agree it’s perhaps time to stop sale of the devices, or at least vastly increase the amount and visibility of information it comes with to make it very clear that mistakes can be made and shouldn’t ever be used to “check it baby is ok”.

    • Laura Dove
      July 7, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      I totally agree. If the ban doesn’t go ahead then the information that comes with them, and the awareness raised about them, needs to be massively increased. xxx

  58. July 7, 2017 / 12:25 pm

    I was too scared to get a home doppler when I had Oscar. I’d read so many heartbreaking stories about families who had used them. And I’m glad I didn’t now. I’m also really sorry to hear about your losses, I’ve had a couple of miscarriages and it’s so hard when it happens :'(

    Louise x

    • Laura Dove
      July 7, 2017 / 4:14 pm

      Thank you Louise, I’m sorry to hear that. It’s devastating and pregnancy can be fraught with worry, but my advice is ALWAYS to hound your midwife rather than self assess! xx

  59. July 7, 2017 / 2:25 pm

    Oh, I’m so sorry for your loss! it’s very useful and informative post!! It’s so kind of you to share your experience with us and spread the aware!!

    • Laura Dove
      July 7, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      Thank you so much. xx

  60. July 7, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    I was oblivious to this too – although I had heard that home sets weren’t recommended, as people can (understandably) get a bit obsessed with using them, and worry unnecessarily when they can’t find the sounds they’re desperate to hear! This is such important information for pregnant women, or those thinking about starting a family. x

    • Laura Dove
      July 8, 2017 / 5:40 pm

      I totally agree, it’s very easy to become obsessive and perhaps focus on the heartbeat and not the movements. It’s always important to see a midwife with every worry! xx

  61. July 7, 2017 / 8:58 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss! I’m really glad your speaking about it because issues like these need more awareness! Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • Laura Dove
      July 8, 2017 / 5:40 pm

      Thank you Jade. xx

  62. July 8, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    A very good thing to raise awareness of without a doubt, I admit to using a doppler with Elarna but didn’t get fixated on it and if I had any concerns I contacted the midwives. Thanks for linking up to this weeks #bestandworst

    • Laura Dove
      July 8, 2017 / 5:37 pm

      Thank you for reading, I think there needs to be much more awareness about the dangers of relying on dopplers, I literally had no idea! x

  63. July 8, 2017 / 9:28 pm

    I didn’t even know these things existed. I know a lot of pregnant people it seems to be an epidemic round my way atm!! I hope none of them get them

    • Laura Dove
      July 10, 2017 / 1:43 pm

      I’m really hoping that this petition leads to a ban! xx

  64. July 9, 2017 / 12:43 pm

    Before this campaign I was very naive to the risks of using a home dopler device. I could see how it would offer reassurance to a mum to be, and hadn’t given much thought to the idea that you very rightly point out, in that all that it is measuring is a heartbeat. It does nothing to show that baby is in distress and so I can absolutely see that these machines should be used by the professionals only. I am so sorry for the devastating journey that you have been through Laura, but I truly applaud you for writing this to raise awareness of the risks of these machines. Thank you for linking to #DreamTeam x

    • Laura Dove
      July 10, 2017 / 12:03 pm

      Thank you lovely, I really appreciate that. I think that these sites who sell/hire out dopplers need to accept their part in this too, they market them in such a way that they imply they are beneficial to the safety of your baby, which is so dangerous! I also think that all maternity units need to make sure their patients are fully aware of the dangers, my midwife never once told me that I should not be using a Doppler! xx

  65. July 9, 2017 / 8:10 pm

    Such an important post lovely. My heart always breaks when I read your story. You’re so inspiring. Many friends advised me to get a home Doppler because is my miscarriages. But then I read an article on Kicks Count that said how misleading they were and that they could hide a baby who is in distress. So instead, I was THAT woman. And I am proud about that. I’ve signed the petition. Hugs Lucy xxxx #PostsFromTheHeart

    • Laura Dove
      July 10, 2017 / 11:08 am

      Thank you Lucy, I am so glad that you were THAT woman, we should all be that person, seeking reassurance whenever we need it, because as women our instincts can often be right. Here’s hoping the campaign leads to a ban! Thank you for commenting, and lots of love to you as always. xxx

  66. July 9, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    Such an informative post. I had no idea about dopplers. I didn’t use one because I knew if I had one I would be using it all the time, so I just resisted and after reading what you have shared today, I’m pleased I trusted my instincts. Thanks so much for linking up to #TriumphantTales – hope to see you again on Tuesday!

    • Laura Dove
      July 10, 2017 / 11:06 am

      I think that’s what I was like, I was obsessed with it but as a result I didn’t seek reassurance from the midwife as much as I would have. With hindsight I wish I had been ringing her with every worry instead of reassuring myself with a £30 Doppler! xx

  67. July 10, 2017 / 5:34 am

    I totally agree with you and i remember my midwife with Harry warning me of the dangers of them , I had no idea you could et them online and had not even though of buying one but even so she made sure to fully put me off the idea. Sign X #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      July 10, 2017 / 11:02 am

      That’s great that she put you off, my midwife never even mentioned that I shouldn’t be using one, despite me telling her I was! xx

  68. July 10, 2017 / 8:07 am

    I was definitely tempted when we finally got pregnant with our twins. Like you I just wanted reassurance but how true that the presence of a ‘heartbeat’ doesn’t actually tell you whether they are in distress. A great informative post that I hope lots will read x #postsfromtheheart

    • Laura Dove
      July 10, 2017 / 11:02 am

      Thank you Amanda, I really hope that this has helped to educate those who aren’t aware of the dangers – I know I wasn’t! xx

  69. July 10, 2017 / 9:34 am

    OMG I never knew this at all. I used a doppler when I hadn’t felt my baby move around for a bit and the sound of the heartbeat reassured me everything was ok. I never even thought that my baby could still be in distress or that it might not even be the babies heartbeat I am hearing at all. My midwife knew I used one of these at home and she never told me about the dangers, I think this should be made more aware to all pregnant women

    • Laura Dove
      July 10, 2017 / 11:00 am

      I was exactly the same. I told my midwife I was using one too and, despite having a stillbirth previously, she never once told me of the dangers. Infact I thought I was doing the right thing for my baby, it’s so scary with hindsight! xx

  70. July 10, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    I was so tempted to buy one but knew that it would just leave me worried. Such an important campaign. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • Laura Dove
      July 10, 2017 / 3:09 pm

      It really is, I hope that the petition leads to a ban. xx

  71. July 11, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    This is such an important campaign. I have never used one myself but knew a few people that were totally obsessed with theirs and used them all the time. The idea of it sounded ok I suppose but I just thought that if I was worried the best thing to do was to see a professional. Thank you for sharing with #StayClassymama

    • Laura Dove
      July 12, 2017 / 8:25 am

      That’s totally right, false reassurance can be SO dangerous, far too many ladies have lost their babies for that very reason. Thank you for reading. xxx

  72. July 14, 2017 / 7:03 am

    You are right. Using Dopplers at home seem silly now you mention it. After fertility treatment and miscarriage I just wanted to know my baby was going to be ok so in the last 2 months of my first pregnancy, I went in to see my midwife almost everyday. I still had a breech, forceps and very squashed baby who had dislocated hips and was very poorly when she was born as she was overdue.
    I’m so sorry to hear about baby Joseph and you miscarriages. That must have been a terrible time for you and your family. I look at your gorgeous children and wish you well. Thank you for the informative post. #blogcrush

    • Laura Dove
      July 15, 2017 / 10:13 pm

      Thank you, and I’m very sorry to hear about your miscarriage too. I think pregnancy will never be the same following a loss, but dopplers really aren’t the safest way to seek reassurance. Thank you for reading this. xx

  73. Laura - Autumn's Mummy
    July 16, 2017 / 10:44 pm

    I think that at the very least, they should come with a warning! It was lovely having the ability to share the baby’s heartbeat with family who wouldn’t otherwise have heard it. However, I too remember listening to her heartbeat around 20 weeks when I wasn’t sure I’d felt her move for a while to reassure myself.

    Luckily, in later pregnancy (around 34 weeks), I think I’d seen a post by Kicks Count. Despite using the doppler, I went to the hospital to get reduced movements checked out. Thankfully, for me all was fine. However, it’s so important that women are aware that you absolutely can’t rely on them to tell you whether your baby is safe.

    #PostsFromTheHeart

    • Laura Dove
      July 17, 2017 / 5:51 pm

      I totally agree Laura, if they cant be banned I hope they at least come with a warning. It’s very sad the number of stories I have heard from other women who lost their babies as a result of false reassurance via a Doppler. xx

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