A Guide to Home-Use Fetal Dopplers: Are They Beneficial and Safe?
Fetal dopplers are devices which use sound waves to pick up and record a baby’s heartbeat from inside the womb. It is not until around 10 to 12 weeks into a pregnancy that a fetus’ heartbeat can be detected. Despite there being much dispute surrounding the personal use of hand-held fetal dopplers at home, these devices are a great way for expecting moms to listen to their baby’s heartbeat safely when used properly and in line with product guidelines.
Benefits of using a fetal Doppler
Aside from providing the amazing experience of hearing your unborn child’s heart beating, a fetal doppler can also reduce anxiety and give comfort, particularly for women who have previously experienced a difficult pregnancy. The ability to check for your baby’s heartbeat at any desired time, while in the comfort of your own home, provides both convenience and a peace of mind to expectant parents.
Additionally, sharing and listening to recordings of your baby’s heartbeat in the womb helps to create special moments and develops the bond between you and other family members such as siblings, partners, parents or grandparents. You can even send sound clips to distant friends or relatives via email.
Are fetal dopplers safe?
According to the British Medical Ultrasound society, there is no evidence that baby dopplers cause any harm when used according to guidelines. They work by using very low levels of power, and so they can be used over a long period of time.
However, identifying a baby’s heartbeat with a doppler can be a little difficult for first time users, which could possibly lead to needless worry if unable to locate the heartbeat, or a false reassurement as the sound of pumping blood in the placenta or through the mother’s veins can possibly be mistaken for a heartbeat.
Therefore, it is highly advised that the personal use of fetal dopplers at home should not become a substitute for regular prenatal care by a medical practitioner.
Using a fetal doppler
When using a fetal doppler at home, begin by locating the position of your baby with your hand, then place and adjust the probe to find the optimum audio signal. Keep in mind that their heartbeat will be much faster than an adult’s.
Also be sure to properly maintain the product by adhering to safety guidelines, and usage and cleaning procedures. Read the user manual prior to use in order to keep you and your baby safe.
Little Martin’s Drawer is planning to launch its very own FDA-approved fetal doppler to the market by November this year.
- Agnes Yoon