Staff and volunteers from a Surrey-based charity which supports pregnant women and families who have experienced stillbirth have delivered a petition to Downing Street today.
The group from the 'Kicks Count' charity is calling for a ban on over the counter sales of 'home dopplers' - which are also known as fetal listening devices. The machines are used to check for the developing baby’s heartbeat.
The charity says that the dopplers, when used at home, can give pregnant women a false sense of security and could lead to stillbirths. The petition has almost reached 12,000 signatures.
Among the supporters of the ban is Vicki McNelly, from Reading, who says she lost a baby because she relied too heavily on a home doppler for reassurance.
The charity's CEO Elizabeth Hutton says that interpreting data from devices such as a doppler should be done by medical professionals:
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) issued its own statement about its concerns over the use of home dopplers in June, reiterating that expectant mothers should contact their midwife if they are worried about any changes to their baby's pattern of movements.
If you would more information about the issue you can visit the Kicks Count website, or The Royal College of Midwives 'Pregnancy and Birth Information Hub for Women'.
The charity Tommy's which funds research into pregnancy problems and provides pregnancy health information for parents, has also provided a dedicated page online with tips and advice for parents-to-be on monitoring reduced baby movements.