When to start using Doppler fetal monitor: 3 important factors

doppler fetal monitor

A Doppler fetal monitor — is a handheld ultrasound device that is used for listening to a fetal heartbeat. Nowadays, fetal Doppler can be used not only at the doctor’s office but also at home. Thanks to technological advancement mothers-to-be can hear baby’s heartbeat from the comfort of their own homes. But when can you start using at home fetal monitor? In this article, we will explore valuable insights, that will help you to prevent to avoid undue concern.

Can I use Doppler fetal monitor at 8 weeks?

Healthcare providers during a check-up may use fetal Doppler to detect your baby’s heartbeat from around 8 to 10 weeks. However, there are no guarantees that you will hear the fetus’s heartbeat because even devices at OB’s office can detect a heartbeat after about 12 weeks. So, when you can’t hear baby’s heartbeat in the first trimester, it’s not necessarily a cause for concern. To find out about the baby’s first heartbeat, read our article.

The optimal time to start using an at-home fetal Doppler depends on several factors, including the stage of your pregnancy and your individual circumstances.

When can you start using a fetal Doppler?

It is advisable to start using Doppler fetal monitor at home during the second trimester (13-28 weeks of pregnancy) because the womb is in the pelvis during the first trimester, and so the device won’t work correctly. The optimal time depends on several factors, such as the stage of pregnancy and the individual circumstances of the expectant mother.

The optimal time to start using an at-home fetal Doppler depends on several factors, including the stage of your pregnancy and your individual circumstances. Generally, fetal heartbeats can be detected using a Doppler device as early as 9 to 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, there are more factors that you need to take into account:

Healthcare provider’s guide

All expectant mothers have to consult their healthcare providers before start using Doppler fetal monitor. He will tell you how many times per week you can use pocket fetal Doppler and provide you with guidance based on the specific details of your pregnancy.

Experience in using fetal heart Doppler

When you are using Doppler fetal monitor for the first time, it may require some practice to find the baby’s heartbeat accurately. Read our detailed guide on how to use at home fetal Doppler. It will help you to become a more experienced user. As your pregnancy progresses and the baby grows, it will be easier for you to locate its heartbeat.

Always consult your healthcare providers before using Doppler fetal monitor.

Is it safe to use a fetal Doppler at home?

There is no evidence to prove that doppler for fetal heartbeat is harmful. However, some parents misuse Doppler fetal monitor and may reach for this device every day. Using home doppler for a few minutes several times per week won’t cause any harm.

Remember, while Doppler fetal monitor is a useful device, it’s necessary to consult with your healthcare provider about its proper use and guidelines. He will inform you how many times per day or week it is allowed to use home doppler and provide you detailed instruction on how to locate the baby’s heartbeat. 

How to use doppler for fetal heartbeat?

All fetal dopplers come with user-manual instructions. Make sure to read the instruction very attentively to prevent possible damage. Follow the below general guide for the proper operation of the Doppler fetal monitor:

  • Remember that it is advisable to use Doppler fetal monitor after the 12th week of pregnancy. At this stage, the baby’s heartbeat becomes stronger and easier to detect.
  • Lie back in a comfortable position.
  • Apply a gel to your lower belly and the probe of home doppler. When you do not have sonogram gel, aloe vera is a great alternative and may work in a pinch.
  • Palpate your abdomen to determine the general location of the baby.
  • Start at the lower abdomen and move slowly in a circular motion. Prevent pressing too hard to avoid discomfort.
  • You will also hear your own heartbeat. The baby’s heartbeat is much faster than either of these.

Word from SonoHealth

If you’re trying to hear your baby’s heartbeat at home, it may be best first to wait for your doctor to check it during one of your prenatal checkups. This is especially true if you’ve been pregnant for less than 12 weeks, to avoid undue concern. It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor first before buying an at-home fetal Doppler. They can talk to you about the benefits and risks involved with using these devices.

Fetal Doppler FAQs

1. What is a normal fetal heart rate on a doppler?

The normal fetal heart rate ranges from 110 to 160 beats per minute (BPM). It also may vary by 5 to 25 BPM. The fetal heart rate changes throughout the pregnancy as the baby grows and responds to conditions in the uterus. An abnormal fetal heart rate signals that the fetus does not get enough oxygen or that there are other problems.

2. How often is it safe to use a fetal Doppler?

Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before using fetal Doppler at home. It is necessary to follow all the instructions that the doctor provides you with. The expectant mothers may use doppler fetal monitor one to two times per week for a few minutes ( under 10 minutes per session).

3. When does a fetus have a heartbeat?

At 5 to 6 weeks of pregnancy, the baby’s heart starts beating. At this point, it is possible to detect a heartbeat only with the help of vaginal ultrasound.

4. Why can’t I hear my baby’s heartbeat with a doppler?

When you cannot detect your baby’s heartbeat with an at-home Doppler, that’s not always the reason for concern. Your baby can move to a position that makes it difficult to locate the heartbeat. Take some time to relax and try again. Keep in mind that it is advisable to use home Doppler after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

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