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'Home doppler' ban petition: Top tips for mums-to-be on monitoring baby

There have been warnings today advising pregnant women not to use over-the-counter doppler devices to monitor their baby's health by themselves at home. The charity Kicks Count delivered a 12,000 signature petition to Downing Street today calling for a ban on selling them for at-home-use.

They say the 'home dopplers' give pregnant women a false sense of security, and that dopplers should only be used by trained medical staff who know how to interpret the data. One mother-to-be who delayed contacting her midwife told us her story and why she supports a ban. See Sam Holder's report here.

ITV Meridian presenter Sangeeta Bhabra spoke to Midwife Anna Nella, from the charity Tommy's which funds research into pregnancy problems and provides pregnancy health information for parents. Tommy's has also provided a dedicated page online with tips and advice for parents-to-be on monitoring reduced baby movements.

There is a wide range of 'home dopplers' on the market, many with warnings to users saying they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis

Mother urges 'home doppler' ban after losing baby

  • Watch Sam Holder speak with Vicki McNelly

A mother from Reading, who's baby was stillborn, is urging the government to ban the sale of 'home dopplers'.

The devices can be used to listen to the heartbeat of an unborn child.

Vicki McNelly delayed going to a midwife when she used a 'doppler' and heard sounds, believing her baby was alright.

Manufacturers of the devices say they are novelty items and shouldn't be used for medical or diagnostic reasons.

Vicki has joined Surrey charity 'Kicks Count' who are campaigning for the home devices to be banned, as they say it can create a false sense of security for pregnant women.


Helping parents to cope with the baby blues...

Having a baby is meant to be a happy time - but for some, the huge life change can be overwhelming. One in five parents reports feeling anxious and depressed, made worse because they don't feel able to talk about it.

But support is available. One award-winning group of mums from Hampshire have made a film to help parents understand and cope with the baby blues. Rachel Hepworth reports.

What a cutie! Clinic celebrates 10,000th 'miracle' baby in 30 years

Maxwell is the 10,000th baby born though clinic's help

Three-month-old Maxwell Steer was the guest of honour today, at a very special party. He's the ten thousandth baby to be born thanks to the work of Oxford Fertility - a clinic which treats people both privately and on the NHS. The clinic is celebrating its thirtieth birthday. Kate Bunkall went to meet Maxwell and his parents.

Baby dragons imminent after aquarium rescue

Baby frilled dragons imminent after eggs were laid Credit: Blue Reef Aquarium

A rescued frilled dragon, one of a pair rescued by Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium has laid eggs for the first time. Seven eggs, which each measure approximately 2cm in length, have been placed in a special reptile incubator and are expected to hatch out in the coming months.

The bizarre-looking lizard, which inspired one of the most famous scenes in the film ‘Jurassic Park’, gets its name from its large neck frills. When the lizard feels threatened, it produces a startling display - gaping its mouth, exposing a bright pink or yellow lining, spreading out its frill, displaying bright orange and red scales and raising itself up on to two legs.

Seven eggs are due to hatch within the coming months Credit: Blue Reef Aquarium

“We managed to spot our female lizard laying her eggs and were able to retrieve all seven and we think there will be at least one more batch this time round. It is important for us to take the eggs out of the enclosure as we need to incubate them in a temperature between 27-29 degrees.

“It will take around 90-110 days for the eggs to hatch out in to miniature replicas of their parents who are able to use the frill and gaping mouth display".

– Martyn Chandler, Blue Reef Aquarium
Frilled dragons became popular after 'Jurassic Park' Credit: Blue Reef Aquarium

Frilled lizards are a relatively large member of the agamid family, growing up to 85cm long. In addition to its frill, which is also used for territorial displays and during courtship as well as to discourage predators, they are able to run on two legs.

The frilled lizard is found mainly in the northern regions of Australia and southern New Guinea. The lizard is also, on rare occasions, found in the lower desert regions of Australia. The species' main threats are eagles, owls, larger lizards, snakes, dingoes andquolls - a type of carnivorous marsupial.

The frilled dragon displays a distinctive collar when threatened Credit: Blue Reef Aquarium


Father thanks 'fantastic' staff for saving premature baby

Young Casey is now thriving after constant care Credit: Danny Sturrock

Danny Sturrock, whose son Casey was cared for by the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) staff at Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, has praised the 'fantastic work' of medical teams.

Casey spent the first three months of his life in NICU after been born 15 weeks prematurely. The care he had in the unit meant that he was able to survive and is now a beautiful, energetic toddler.

Danny said: “If it wasn’t for the staff on NICU we wouldn’t have our precious little boy. We are eternally grateful for all they did for Casey and for the support we received as parents."

  1. Nia Mason

Swaddling babies too tightly can cause hip problems

Parents could be risking their babies' health because they're being given the wrong advice about swaddling.

A study by an orthopaedic surgeon in Southampton says binding the arms and legs of a baby with a blanket could lead to long term hip damage, even though many new mums are advised to do so.

The new research says that the technique restricts movement which is vital for a baby's development. Nia Mason reports.

The interviewees are the report's author - Professor Nicholas Clarke, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Southampton University Hospitals Trust; and Alicia Reilly, a new mother from the south.

For advice and tips on 'safe swaddling' you can visit The International Hip Dysplasia Institute.

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