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Hand-held fetal dopplers NZCOM conference FINAL.pdf (16.09 MB)

Hand-held fetal Doppler monitor use by pregnant women in Aotearoa New Zealand

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-11-20, 02:28 authored by Lyndal HoneymanLyndal Honeyman, Robyn Maude
Background: Hand-held fetal Doppler monitors are accessible to non-health professional users. Midwifery concerns around the use of Doppler monitors by pregnant women centre on the risk of false reassurance in the context of decreased fetal movements. However, the drivers for pregnant women to use fetal Doppler monitors and how they use them are unknown. Objectives: This research aimed to fill a knowledge gap by asking pregnant women their reasons for accessing hand-held fetal Doppler monitors, how and when they used them and the supports they accessed for information. Methods: Participants were recruited via lead maternity care and core midwives. Interviews were conducted using a semi-structured interview schedule, and data from interview transcripts were thematically analysed. Results: Pregnant women who access hand-held Doppler monitors do so to manage anxieties around pregnancy and to take charge of their own health and wellbeing. They source their information via peer groups and peer-developed content online. Women's perceptions of professional support from LMCs varied from not supportive, to generally supportive. Conclusion: More research on the use of fetal monitoring technology by pregnant women is needed to support midwives in supporting women, particularly in the first half of pregnancy. Key message: The main driver for the use of fetal Doppler monitors by pregnant women is a method of alleviating anxieties in the first half of pregnancy prior to the awareness of fetal movements.


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Honeyman, L. & Maude, R. (2023, November). Hand-held fetal Doppler monitor use by pregnant women in Aotearoa New Zealand. In New Zealand College of Midwives Biennial Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand.

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New Zealand College of Midwives Biennial Conference

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Christchurch, New Zealand

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