Nothing can compare to the excitement of becoming a mum for the first time. Undoubtedly, it is one of the most beautiful experiences but it also comes with a dose of stress and fear because you want some reassurance that everything is okay with your baby. Your baby’s heartbeat is a sign of new life and one of the first moments when your pregnancy feels “real”. As your baby starts growing, that healthy heartbeat gives you feelings of peace, security and excitement. Of course, you are going to go one every needed doctor’s check-up, but what if I told that you can hear your little angle’s heartbeat at home? Pretty cool, right? Thanks to the great advancements in technology, today you can buy your very own baby doppler and hear the heartbeat of your little one in the comfort of your home.
Fetal doppler versus the one at the doctor’s office
A prenatal doppler is a small, handheld device that detects and emits the baby’s heartbeat. It’s compact, lightweight and easy to operate with. To use it properly, you need to put yourself in the right position, then place the baby doppler on your stomach and move it until you hear your little one’s heartbeat. You will also need a fetal doppler gel – it is used to ease the movement of the device and improve comfort. Since the gel can be a bit uncomfortable because it’s cold, you can also use a gel warmer which you can buy separately (this is optional). However, you should keep in mind that the doppler monitor might pick up your own heartbeat, so getting the needed training before using your home doppler is essential to ensure you get accurate results. You can take your doppler to your doctor and let him help you and advise you how to use the device properly. After all, you bought it to bring you peace of mind during your pregnancy and not to cause you more stress.
On the other hand, there is the ultrasound in the doctor’s office. That one is a highly professional device that shows more than just your baby’s heartbeat. Getting an ultrasound during pregnancy is done for the purpose of observing the changes in the fetus. Also, it’s a diagnostic tool that allows doctors to check any conditions and abnormalities that may arise from early pregnancy right up until birth. Using an ultrasound, the doctor can measure the length and weight of the baby which is important for the baby’s development. With all this in mind, a professional ultrasound is a must during pregnancy. How many times will you need to visit your doctor depends on your health and the health condition of the fetus. Meanwhile, you can always use your home doppler ultrasound to hear your favourite music – your baby’s heartbeat.
How early you can use your home heartbeat monitor?
It all depends on the brand. Some of them claim that they can detect the heartbeat at 9th week while others claim they work around week 16. There are even companies that provide dopplers that work only in the third trimester which is somewhere around week 28. If you want to use a fetal doppler earlier than nine weeks, you probably won’t find any brand that claims that. However, you may want to practice with the doppler until the device can pick any sound. Remember, you should be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat from the second trimester, so it is important to know how many weeks you are already pregnant. This will save you from stress and unnecessary worries.
How to use the infant heart rate monitor
No matter which model or brand of doppler you choose, once you bought it you will receive the device along with its own instructions for operating. The first thing to do is insert the batteries into the doppler and lie back in a comfortable position. Move your pants down slightly and lift your top. If you don’t have a doppler gel, aloe vera can be a great alternative. Apply it to your lower belly, turn the doppler on and slowly move it around your abdomen until you hear the heartbeat. Keep in mind, the earlier you are in your pregnancy – the lower the chances are that you are going to hear the heartbeat.
I know that you will want to hear your baby’s heartbeat over and over again, but make sure you limit your exposure and not use it more than a few times. Last but not least, don’t rely on the information from this device only. Keep up with your prenatal appointments and always follow the instructions of your doctor.