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Ultrasound tests

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* Avoid Doppler, particularly the duplex variety for detecting the baby's heartbeat and pulse; the 'Doptone' fetal-pulse detector is a commonly used handheld device

* Avoid Doppler, particularly the duplex variety for detecting the baby's heartbeat and pulse; the 'Doptone' fetal-pulse detector is a commonly used handheld device. The B-mode has a higher safety margin (Geburtshilfe Frauenheilkd, 1992; 52: 721-9), but all Doppler employs stronger pulses.

* Consider seeing an older or holistic gynaecologist or midwife, trained before the days of ultrasound. Most important information (such as multiple births or the baby's position) can be ascertained by a skilled pair of hands. A fetoscope or stethoscope is a safe way to listen to the baby's heartbeat.

* Think of birth defects as an exercise in prevention. Minimise your chances of birth defects by getting fit before you conceive through the Foresight approach (see WDDTY vol 14 no 9, p 4). Few, if any, Foresight babies are born with birth defects, even among couples with such a history.

* If you do have a Down's baby, investigate the nutritional programme that is helping many Down's children lead normal lives in normal schools (WDDTY vol 7 no 12).

* Take heart that nature mostly takes care of things. About 40 per cent of Down's babies die naturally before term.

* Take all the videos you want of your babies after they are born.


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