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Alison Ross
Registered Midwife, DipHe, BSc (Hons) Was a midwife at Kingston Hospital and Specialist Midwife in Perinatal Mental Health.
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Pregnancy health

Can I monitor my pregnancy at home?

In recent years there has been an increase in people's ability to monitor their pregnancy health at home.
In Short
Some Doctors have welcomed this idea - since, for example, people can pick up if their blood pressure is rising and this may be an early warning sign of pre-eclampsia.

In recent years there has been an increase in people’s ability to monitor their health at home using blood pressure monitoring kits, foetal dopplers that monitor and listen to a baby’s heartbeat and phone apps that record physiological measurements such as heart rate.

Some doctors have welcomed this advent of home-based health monitoring, for example, measuring blood pressure at home, rather than occasional blood pressure checks at antenatal appointments. An article in the British Medical Journal reported that eclampsia and pre-eclampsia are not easy to pick up during routine antenatal appointments, concluding that perhaps if pregnant women monitored their blood pressure at home they would have an early warning of blood pressure increasing, which can be a symptom of pre-eclampsia.

Campaigns such as ‘count the kicks’ are increasingly encouraging women to monitor their baby’s movements as a way of picking up any early warning that your baby is stressed or unwell.

If you would like to monitor your blood pressure or your baby’s heartbeat talk to your midwife to make sure that any monitoring you do is done correctly as incorrect monitoring may give either false reassurance or needless anxiety. Any home monitoring should be in addition to attending your clinic appointments – and not instead of the midwife checkup.

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This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Essential Parent has used all reasonable care in compiling the information from leading experts and institutions but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details click here.