A UK university has developed a new method for checking baby’s heartbeat in the womb. Designed to take away the stress and provide a more accurate result, this new method can even be used in the patient’s home, rather than having to go into hospital.
So, what is this new method and how will it compare to traditional testing? Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know.
Understanding this new baby monitoring method
The new baby monitoring method was developed by Dr Elizabeth Rendon-Morales at the University of Sussex. The sensor can potentially be used to detect congenital heart-related conditions, as well as help to identify a need for medical intervention during pregnancy.
What’s most impressive is the sensor can be used at home, eliminating the need for expectant mothers to actually visit a hospital. It’s been described as the biggest development within the sector in 40 years.
With the use of Electric Potential Sensing (EPS) technology, Rendon-Morales created the electrometer amplifier prototype. It works by being placed onto the skin on the abdomen, allowing for non-invasive utero-foetal electrocardiogram monitoring.
It’s a huge step forward for home-device monitoring and can provide peace of mind through fast results. This will also benefit health service providers, allowing for resource optimisation.
How does it compare to traditional baby monitoring method?
The traditional method of monitoring the baby’s heartbeat is the classic ultrasound scan. While this is also a non-invasive method, many pregnant women do find the scan both stressful and uncomfortable.
There is also the chance that health service providers will not be able to differentiate the baby’s heartbeat from the mother’s heartbeat with ultrasound scanning. This new test, on the other hand, successfully isolates the baby’s heartbeat for more accurate results.
With the traditional tests, a gel also needs to be applied to the abdomen, whereas with this new test, no gel is required. This also makes the method more accurate as the gel can sometimes produce an inaccurate reading.
The hope is that the new technology will be able to help health care practitioners determine earlier on whether a baby needs to be delivered quickly. It will be able to accurately monitor when the baby’s heartbeat drops and doesn’t recover quickly.
What pregnancy scans are currently available?
While the new testing isn’t currently available, existing tests are still typically very accurate. As well as the standard testing available on the NHS, women can also choose to have private scans throughout the pregnancy. These scans include:
The early pregnancy scan can be carried out after six weeks into the pregnancy and it’s largely used on women with a high-risk pregnancy. A reassurance scan also monitors the baby’s heartbeat to double check that everything is going as planned. Then finally there’s the viability scan which can be provided to couple’s who have experienced fertility issues and miscarriages in the past. This looks into whether the pregnancy is developing as it should.
Overall, this new sensor test is going to revolutionise the baby monitoring method sector. Being able to monitor the baby’s heartbeat in the home will really help to ease the stress and discomfort felt during traditional testing.