Handheld fetal Dopplers are actually quite easy to use and understand. A fetal Doppler is used to listen to a baby’s heartbeat while it is still in the womb. By using ultrasound technology, a fetal Doppler heartbeat monitor sends high frequency sound waves into your abdomen. When the sound waves encounter movement, such as your baby’s heartbeat, it sends a signal back to the device through the handheld probe. The signal is then translated into a sound which is then amplified so you can hear it.Are Fetal Doppler ’s safe to use?
Fetal dopplers are used by medical professionals every day to detect heartbeats of babies in the womb. They are completely safe and do not require a prescription. The waves emitted by a fetal doppler are about 40 times lower than those emitted from an ultrasound machine.How to use fetal Doppler’s?
Using a fetal Doppler is easy and convenient. You can use it by yourself, or with your partner. A couple of tips to consider before getting started include:The baby’s heartbeat will be easier to hear in the morning when your belly is less bloated. Using the fetal doppler while you have a full bladder will also make it easier to hear. How to use the fetal Doppler:
- To use your fetal Doppler, lie down on your back on a flat surface and expose your abdomen.
- Apply the ultrasound gel to your lower belly, ensuring that you use a liberal amount.
- Apply the gel to the fetal Doppler probe as well and turn the device on.
- Starting at your pubic bone, glide the probe upwards toward your belly button. Move the probe across your belly slowly making sure to touch every part until you find your baby.
- A higher heart rate means that you have found your baby. This is usually around 120 BPM or higher.
- Once you are completed with the procedure, turn off the device and thoroughly clean the probe.
Your doctor might ask that you do not rely on a fetal Doppler as the only source for listening to your baby’s heartbeat. Home users are not as skilled as medical professionals and may receive false readings causing them to panic. They might also misread the test and overlook something very important that could show your baby needs medical attention.What are the benefits of using the fetal heart rate monitor?
Fetal heart rate monitors provide moms with a wide range of benefits from reducing their anxiety and providing reassurance that their baby is doing well, to helping parents bond with their baby by listening to the heartbeat.When can I start using the baby Doppler?
It is recommended that you don’t use a fetal Doppler device until the 12th week of pregnancy. You might not hear the heartbeat until the 14th-16thweek however, this can be different from person to person.What should the fetal heart rate typically be?
A typical fetal heart rate is between 120 and 160 beats per minute (BPM). It does vary greatly based on a wide range of factors including movement, sleep cycles and other baby activity.Is the fetal Doppler measurement reliable?
Typically, fetal Doppler measurements are reliable but there are some factors that could cause the measurement to read improperly including:
- Smoking tobacco products.
- Drinking large amounts of caffeine.
- Extra noises, such as the mother's heartbeat or stomach rumbling, can mask the signals.
- Sleep patterns.
- Baby movement.
Ultrasound gel is recommended as it enables better skin contact for the Doppler probe. However, any gel lubricant will work.Is my baby’s heart rate normal?
If you are receiving a measurement of 120 to 160 BPM, your baby’s heart rate is normal. Measurements which are lower than 120 BPM could be your own heart rate and you should reposition the probe.I hear two heartbeats. Why?
If you are hearing more than one heartbeat, you could either be hearing the same heartbeat in two different locations, or you are pregnant with twins. If you’re in the later stages of pregnancy and the two heartbeats are within 10 beats per minute of each other, it’s probably just one fetus.Why can’t I hear anything? Does it mean my baby is having complications?
If you are unable to hear your baby’s heartbeat, don’t panic. Your baby could be too small for the Doppler to detect its heartbeat and you should wait until your baby is more developed. Your baby could also be in a position which makes it difficult for the monitor to pick up the heartbeat. However, if you have a feeling something is wrong, contact your physician.Can a fetal Doppler replace ultrasound appointments?
Our fetal Doppler monitors work similar to an ultrasound, but they shouldn’t be used as a replacement for regular ultrasound appointments and doctor visits.