After two recent stillbirths doctors are urging pregnant women not to reply on smartphone apps to monitor their unborn babies.
According to News Corp, women are relying more and more on apps to help them monitor their babies despite their being no evidence to suggest their reliability.
Two patients at Sydney’s Royal Hospital for Women recently suffered stillbirths after relying on the apps according to Dr Lucy Bowyer, Acting Head of Maternal Fetal Medicine.
The deaths might have been prevented with the proper care.
“It’s such a tragedy to deliver a stillborn baby when urgent medical assessment and intervention may have prevented that loss,” Dr Bowyer tells News Corp.
“One lady was using the app to listen to the foetal heart beat because the baby had not been moving and she had been partially reassured the baby was okay. In both cases the women were given a false sense of security."
A range of apps are available for download on smartphones but should be used with caution and women should always seek the advice of a registered health practitioner if they are concerned.
“Women with reduced foetal movements must ring for medical advice, not rely upon phone apps which cannot listen to the foetal heart with any clinical success,” Dr Bowyer adds.
This advice extends to purchasing foetal heartrate monitors, which can be purchased online, as only trained professionals know what to look out for.
“Even if you could hear the heartbeat, if you are not clinically trained you don’t know what you listening out for.”
Approximately six babies a day in Australia are stillborn.
The Stillbirth Foundation, in conjunction with the Mater Research Institute at the University of Queensland, are currently trialling a baby movement app but it is not yet available.