A study says that pregnant women are being recommended against the use of Doppler devices, an ultrasound transducer used to detect the baby's heartbeat, at home.
Dr Thomas Aust and colleagues from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Arrowe Park Hospital, in British Medical Journal, explained the case of 27-year-old woman who presented to their labor ward with reduced fetal movements.
The authors said the woman first observed a reduction in her baby's activity two days earlier but reassured herself after using her own Doppler device, which is not intended to replace recommended antenatal care.
The antenatal care team monitored the fetal movements, which were less than comforting, and a cesarean section was carried out later that evening to deliver the baby, who remained on the special care baby unit for eight weeks.
Though the experts did not determine if self-monitoring altered the outcome in this case, posters in their antenatal areas advising that patients do not use these devices had been put up.