The best news a woman can get is when her doctor confirms that she is expecting a child. Your doctor will schedule you for an ultrasound around 7 ½ to 8 weeks of pregnancy to confirm if you’re pregnant, check the baby’s heartbeat, validate gestational age and assess your baby’s overall health. To do these, your doctor will use a fetal heart monitor.
All parents will say that hearing the sound of their baby’s heartbeat for the first time compares to nothing. Mothers become so eager for their next appointment to hear the sound again. With the rapid sales growth and popularity of baby fetal doppler, listening to your baby’s heartbeat in the comforts of your home is now possible.
What is a fetal doppler?
It is a handheld ultrasound device that allows the user to record and listen to the baby’s heartbeat. It works like your doctor’s ultrasound machine but with lower intensity. The device will convert the baby’s heartbeat and movement into an auditory signal or sound which you will hear.
When can a baby start to hear?
Parents are over eager to make their babies listen to lullabies, classical music for brain development and assurance of math proficiency, and speak with the mother’s tummy. But when can a baby actually hear a sound? In a study reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the human fetus reacts to sound as early as 19 weeks of gestational age.
When is a fetal doppler safe to use?
Choose a good quality, fully certified baby fetal doppler for assurance that the product has gone through strict government compliance procedure. Professional sonographers say that a mother’s womb is in her pelvis at 13 weeks. Do not try to listen to your baby’s heartbeat before 13 weeks because you might unnecessarily be concerned if you could not hear a beat. You should consult with your doctor first to get advice on the proper use and benefits of this device.
What to prepare to get started?
Before operating the device, make sure to prepare the following materials:
Ultrasound gel or aloe vera gel – this makes it easier for you to hear the heartbeat.
Use the device at maximum volume.
Do not use the device for an extended period. Should you fail to detect a heartbeat within 1 to 2 minutes, do not repeat.
Limit the use of the device.
- Flatbed – find a comfortable place and lay down flat on your back before starting to monitor. The baby’s heartbeat might take some time, so you must be comfortable in your position. You must ensure to take a relaxed position during the process.
- Headphones or speakers – be sure your headphones are plugged, or your speaker is turned on and set at maximum volume before starting the process. This will ensure that you and your husband will not miss a beat of your baby’s heartbeat.
How to do it right?
- Find a comfortable flat surface and lie down on your back. TIP: Using the device on a full bladder can make the heartbeat more audible.
- Expose your stomach and apply a generous amount of gel to your lower abdomen. The gel is used to reduce static.
- Turn the device on and place it over the gel. Slowly move it from your lower abdomen (pubic bone) upwards towards your belly button.
- Continue to move the device around slowly to locate your baby’s position. Instead of moving side to side, move the device in a rocking motion. If you do not hear a sound after 1 to 2 minutes, stop. You may need to wait for your baby to grow bigger.
- After use, clean the probe and wipe off the gel.
Always use a certified fetal doppler, but it is recommended to seek your doctor’s advice before trying anything at home.