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New Device Helps Expectant Mothers Monitor Heartbeats of Unborn Baby

New Device Helps Expectant Mothers Monitor Heartbeats of Unborn Baby

Tuesday, 13 August, 2019 - 05:15
A US research team has developed a technique that could allow expectant parents hear their baby's heartbeat continuously. (Reuters)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
A US research team from the Stevens Institute of Technology has developed a technique that could allow expectant parents hear their baby's heartbeat continuously.

The device, which uses the same commercial sensors used in mobile gadgets, can record vibrations sent through a mother's abdomen when her baby's heart beats or when the fetus squirms and kicks.

Lauded by physicians, the device could potentially reduce an estimated 2.6 million stillbirths per year worldwide.

The Phys.org website cited Negar Tavassolian, from the Stevens Institute, as saying: "Almost a third of stillbirths occur in the absence of complicating factors. Our device could let a pregnant woman know if her fetus is compromised and she needs to go to the doctor."

Many stillbirths are preceded by variations in fetal movement and heart rate, so monitors that detect vibrations generated from a heartbeat could be worn continuously in the final weeks of pregnancy to ensure that distressed fetuses receive prompt medical attention.

According to the German news agency, the new monitor poses no risk to the fetus, unlike the ultrasound monitors, which can heat tissue if used continuously for long periods.

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