What is a Baby Doppler?
A baby doppler—or fetal doppler—is an at-home device that you can use to hear your baby’s heartbeat during pregnancy. Similar to an ultrasound, a probe is used to detect the heartbeat. It’s amplified through speakers for the family to hear. The fetal heart rate is also displayed on screen.
Fetal dopplers are used in doctor’s offices to monitor a baby’s development. Although at-home models can’t be used to replace medical advice or appointments, they have many benefits for the family:
- One of the biggest reasons parents love baby dopplers is because it allows them to bond with their baby. Use your fetal doppler session as a special moment to feel close to your baby. Hearing a heartbeat is a powerful connecter.
- Non-pregnant partner involvement. For the non-pregnant partner, it can be difficult to “experience” the pregnancy before birth. Hearing a heartbeat can make the baby feel more “real.”
- Educational tool. Many parents find that using a fetal doppler helps educate them about their baby’s development. It gives parents an active way to learn and get involved during pregnancy.
- Track between appointments. Although fetal dopplers don’t replace medical appointments, they can be used between check-ups to track your baby’s development. For example, you can use the BabyDoppler app to record how the fetal heart rate changes throughout your pregnancy. This is a fun way to feel more connected and in tune with your baby’s development.
- Introduce to sibling. A baby doppler is a tool that you can use to gently introduce your child to their new sibling. Hearing their heartbeat can give them a way to understand that life is being created and that their sibling is on their way.
- You can use the BabyDoppler app to record your baby’s heartbeat and keep it forever!
Baby Doppler Problems and Solutions
Below are some baby doppler problems and their solutions.
Problem: I don’t know how to use my device
If it’s your first time using your fetal doppler and you’re not sure how to use it, check out one of our helpful guides below:
- Quick Set Up Guide
- How to Use a Fetal Doppler – The Proper Way
- Video: How to use a Baby Heartbeat Monitor from Baby Doppler
BabyDoppler’s devices come with everything you need to get started, including batteries and a sample of ultrasound gel. By following the steps outlined above, you should hear your baby’s heartbeat in no time!
Problem: I don’t know what a fetal heartbeat is supposed to sound like. How do I know I’m not mistaking it for other noises?
If you don’t know what to listen for, you might mistake another noise for your baby’s heartbeat. For example, you might think the sound of your placenta or your own heartbeat is your baby’s.
To learn what a fetal heartbeat sounds like, take a little time to get familiar with the different noises. To start, we recommend reading this guide: Heartbeat or Another Noise? 8 Tips to Discern Fetal Doppler Noises.
You can also hear heartbeats through a fetal doppler on BabyDoppler’s YouTube channel.
Problem: I can’t detect a heartbeat.
At-home fetal dopplers typically start working around 12 weeks of pregnancy. However, it can take longer to detect your baby. This is because your baby may be too small to detect yet. You may need to wait for her to grow.
Another possibility is that she’s moved into a position where it’s difficult to hear her.
Finally, if you still can’t detect your baby’s heartbeat and you’re further along in your pregnancy, it may be worth trying a 2MHz probe. Although devices come with a 3MHz probe, 2MHz probes can make it easier for a plus-sized woman to detect her baby.
Problem: I detected a heartbeat before but I can’t anymore.
In some cases, you might detect a heartbeat earlier in your pregnancy but you can’t anymore. Does this mean something is wrong with your baby? In many cases, you may not hear your baby for a non-medical reason. For example, sometimes babies switch into a position that makes it more difficult for the fetal doppler to pick up.
With that being said, you should always check with your healthcare provider about any concerns and seek immediate care if you experience a loss of pregnancy symptoms
Problem: I think something is wrong with my baby.
If you think something is wrong with your baby, you should seek medical care—even if you’re still detecting a heartbeat on your fetal doppler. Since you’re not a medical professional, you can’t rely on the device for medical interpretation. Report any concerns to your doctor and always seek emergency care if you experience a loss of pregnancy symptoms or symptoms of miscarriage.
Problem: I think I hear two heartbeats.
If you think you hear two heartbeats and you’re not pregnant with twins, it’s probably just your baby’s heartbeat echoing. This happens when your fetal doppler picks up the heartbeat in two different places.
Problem: I’m getting a lot of feedback and noise. It’s hard to hear the heartbeat clearly.
If you’re getting a lot of feedback on your device, it could be because there’s a buildup of ultrasound gel on your probe. If you don’t wipe your probe clean after each use, the gel could dry and make it difficult to hear the heartbeat. To fix this:
- Disconnect the probe from your device
- Dab some rubbing alcohol onto a clean towel or paper towel
- Gently wipe away any buildup on the probe
- Use a dry towel or paper towel to wipe your probe dry
You can also use rubbing alcohol wipes.
Remember: Keep your device feedback-free by wiping it after every session.
In rare cases, a fetal doppler may have feedback due to a manufacturing issue. If you believe this is the case, contact customer service.
Problem: I don’t know how to clean my fetal doppler.
Cleaning your fetal doppler keeps it free of static, giving you the clearest audio to hear your baby’s heartbeat. If you’re not sure how to clean your fetal doppler, follow the tips below.
Cleaning the probe after a session: Use a clean towel, tissue or paper towel to wipe your probe clean of ultrasound gel after each session to avoid buildup. You can also use a rubbing alcohol wipe to ensure the device is clean and sterile.
Cleaning with rubbing alcohol: It’s a good idea to fully clean your probe after a few sessions, if not after each one. Simply disconnect your probe and dab some rubbing alcohol on a clean towel or paper towel. Wipe the probe and use a dry towel to ensure no moisture remains.
Cleaning the device: You can wipe your device with a clean tissue to keep it free from dust. Don’t use harsh cleaning products.
Problem: I don’t have ultrasound gel.
Each BabyDoppler device comes with a free sample of ultrasound gel, allowing you to get started right away. If you run out of ultrasound gel, you can purchase more here.
While you’re waiting for your ultrasound gel to arrive, there are some alternatives you can use in a pinch. Although these won’t work as well and might produce some feedback, you can give them a try.
Problem: I don’t know if I’m using my fetal doppler too much.
Fetal dopplers are a fun tool to hear your baby in between doctor’s appointments, but they shouldn’t be used excessively. Using your fetal doppler a few times a week may be a special bonding experience. But overusing your fetal doppler may lead to anxiety. You may worry that you can’t always detect your baby, even when nothing is wrong. If this is the case, consider putting your fetal doppler away until your baby is big enough that you can reliably detect the heartbeat. Then continue to use the baby doppler sparingly to reduce anxiety. Also remember, when it comes to fetal health, the focus should be on fetal movement—like counting kicks.
Read our guides:
Problem: I hear a heartbeat but I still worry there is a problem with my baby.
Whenever you worry there is a problem with your baby, you should seek medical attention. Fetal dopplers are not a replacement for professional diagnosis or advice. Since you aren’t a medical professional, you aren’t trained how to use the device and you may get false reassurance or falsely think something is wrong. The only way to know for sure is to go to the doctor.
Always seek immediate medical care if you experience miscarriage symptoms or a loss of pregnancy symptoms, like movement.
Have More Problems?
If you have a BabyDoppler problem that hasn’t been addressed here, please contact us! We’re happy to help and guide you through any device issue you may be having. Give us a call at 1-800-590-2767 or drop us a line.
Get Your Baby Doppler Today!
BabyDopplers provide amazing opportunities to bond with your baby while they’re inside the womb! Don’t miss out on these amazing experiences.