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PREGNANT women should not rely [...].

PREGNANT women should not rely on athome foetal heart-rate monitors to ensure their baby is well.

Doctors are warning expectant parents to only use the home monitors for "fun" and not as an alternative to medical advice.

The devices, which pick up the sound of the baby's heartbeat, can give "false reassurance", the British Medical Journal reports.

They can also cause unnecessary anxiety in untrained hands, doctors warned.

Mervi Jokinen, from the Royal College of Midwives, said: "These devices may be sold as a bit of fun for parents to use, but let me be categorically clear - there is absolutely no substitute for speaking to your midwife or doctor as soon as possible if you think that there is something wrong during your pregnancy."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 16, 2009
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