Personal Use of Handheld Fetal Doppler Monitors by Women in New Zealand
thesisposted on 01.03.2021, 00:33 by Honeyman, Lyndal
This qualitative descriptive study explores what factors are driving women in New Zealand to use handheld fetal Doppler monitors during their pregnancy. This is a little explored phenomenon in the literature, and consensus among health professional bodies is that pregnant women should be discouraged from using a handheld fetal Doppler. One concern health professionals hold is that a pregnant woman may be falsely reassured about the condition of her unborn baby and would delay presentation to her lead maternity carer, culminating in stillbirth or neonatal morbidity and mortality that potentially could have been avoided.
Six women from a major New Zealand city who were between 20- and 39-weeks’ gestation participated in semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis, as described by Braun and Clarke, was used to generate five main themes and six subthemes. Control was a strong overarching
theme with subthemes of Fertility and Pregnancy Loss, Ultrasound and Doppler anxieties. Fetal feedback with the subtheme of Bonding was another strong theme. The third and fourth themes were Peer-to-peer education and support and Lay knowledge versus professional knowledge with a
subtheme of Lack of research. The final theme was the Woman-Midwife relationship with a subtheme of More support.
Women’s reasons for using a handheld fetal Doppler is for control of their response to the potential of miscarriage. This response is largely one of anxiety, particularly prior to the quickening of the fetus when there is little feedback to prove ongoing fetal life outside of symptoms such as morning sickness. Whilst women gain their information to underpin use of a handheld fetal Doppler via their peer groups in online forums and other internet-based repositories, they are
wanting to enact partnership and shared decision-making with their lead maternity carer (LMC) regarding their use of handheld fetal Doppler monitors in pregnancy.
As technologies advance and become more available to non-health professionals, further exploration of use of handheld fetal Doppler monitors by pregnant women is needed in order to better inform women and midwives around the potential benefits and risks.
Advisor 1Maude, Robyn
Date of Award01/03/2021
PublisherVictoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka
Rights LicenseAuthor Retains Copyright
Degree GrantorVictoria University of Wellington - Te Herenga Waka
Degree NameMaster of Health Research
ANZSRC Type Of Activity code1 PURE BASIC RESEARCH
Victoria University of Wellington Item TypeAwarded Research Masters Thesis
Victoria University of Wellington SchoolGraduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health
handheld fetal Dopplerfetal heart rate monitoringpregnancytechnologycontrolinformed choicemidwiferyqualitative descriptive methodologythematic analysis111006 Midwifery920507 Women's HealthSchool: Graduate School of Nursing, Midwifery and HealthDegree Level: MastersDegree Discipline: MidwiferyDegree Name: Master of Health Research