Fetal dopplers are an amazing way to bond with your baby—but only if you use them correctly.
To ensure you get the most out of your fetal doppler, there’s a few things to watch out for.
In this guide, we’re sharing 11 signs you’re using your fetal doppler wrong.
What is a Fetal Doppler Sonoline B?
A fetal doppler is a handheld device that you can use to listen to your baby’s heartbeat while she’s still inside the womb. Similar to an ultrasound, you use a probe to locate your baby. Her heartbeat is amplified through speakers and you can see the fetal heart rate displayed on the screen. Parents say this amazing experience has many benefits:
- Creates bonding experience between mother and baby
- Helps pregnancy feel “real” to the non-pregnant partner
- Creates bonding opportunities for other family members who can’t “experience” the baby until she’s born
- Provides another layer of reassurance alongside other pregnancy signs, like kicks
- Comes with the BabyDoppler app that allows you to record the heartbeat to keep forever as a keepsake or turn it into a baby keepsake video
- Helps monitor your pregnancy between appointments (you can share recordings with your doctor or midwife if you have any questions or concerns)
Ready to experience the magic of a fetal doppler? Get yours today!
11 Signs You’re Using Your Fetal Doppler Wrong
Are you guilty of doing any of these things? Read our solutions to elevate your experience.
You’re Using Too Much Gel
Ultrasound gel helps sound transmission, so you may think it’s a good idea to apply as much as you can. However, that will make your fetal doppler Sonoline B lose connectivity. Too much ultrasound gel means too many air bubbles. Air bubbles create more static, affecting the playback sound.
You’re Using Not Enough Gel
Using too little ultrasound gel is also a fetal doppler mistake. Luckily, when you purchase a fetal doppler Sonoline B, it comes with a free ultrasound gel sample, so you can get started right away! Although this sample will last a while, you might be tempted to skimp out on the gel when you’re running low. But using too little gel will also negatively impact sound transmission.
Instead, purchase a full bottle of ultrasound gel. Although that’s the best choice for a clear heartbeat, you can also use alternatives in a pinch. Read: Doppler Without Gel? 8 Ultrasound Gel Alternatives At Home
You’re Using it On an Empty Bladder
Especially if you’re having trouble using your fetal doppler, you shouldn’t use it on an empty bladder. This can make it more difficult to pick up your baby’s heartbeat.
Try using your fetal doppler on a full bladder instead. This raises your pelvic captivity, possibly making your baby easier to find. For this reason, you can try using it after you wake up or after a full glass of water.
You’re Plus-Sized Using a 2MHz Probe
The fetal doppler Sonoline B comes with a 3MHz probe. This works great for most people. However, for those plus-sized, it can be harder for the fetal doppler to pick up the baby’s heartbeat. In this case, a 2-2.5MHz probe attachment is the best choice.
You’re Sliding The Probe
If you’re gliding your probe with the bottom flat on your belly, you’re not making the best use of your fetal doppler Sonoline B.
Instead, when you glide your probe, try to use a rocking motion. This allows you to cover different angles, making it easier to find your baby. Next time you have an ultrasound, watch how the technician uses their probe.
You’re Moving the Probe Too Fast
We know, you’re excited to hear your baby and it’s easy to rush it! But moving the probe too fast can make finding your baby slower. Take your time, slowly rocking and gliding the probe to cover every area of your belly. Work in sections, moving on to the next when you’re confident the heartbeat isn’t located there.
You’re Pressing Too Hard
When you use your fetal doppler Sonoline B, make sure you’re not applying too much pressure. Some people tend to press the probe down too hard. This can make it more difficult to detect the baby. The probe just needs good contact with the skin, so gentle pressure is all that’s needed.
You Think Any Noise is a Heartbeat
A fetal doppler will amplify any noise it picks up. If you can’t tell the difference between noises, you’re using your fetal doppler wrong.
Sometimes people will mistake the whooshing sound of the placenta or the baby’s blood flow for a heartbeat. Other times, they will detect a heartbeat, but it’s their own. To become familiar with what a fetal heartbeat sounds like, you can listen to videos and pay attention to the fetal heart rate (FHR) displayed. For other tips, read: Heartbeat or Another Noise? 8 Tips to Discern Fetal Doppler Noises.
You’re Playing Doctor
It should go without saying that having a fetal doppler doesn’t make you a doctor. A fetal doppler can provide another level of reassurance alongside other pregnancy signs, like kicks and movement.
However, you shouldn’t use a fetal doppler to relax your nerves if there’s a loss of other pregnancy signs. For example, if your baby has stopped moving but you think you still hear a heartbeat, you still need to go to the emergency room. Hearing a heartbeat doesn’t guarantee your baby is okay. Only a doctor can tell you that.
As a layperson, you may not be using the fetal doppler correctly. You may also mistake other noises for a heartbeat. That’s why you can’t use fetal dopplers to diagnose any problems; only medical professionals can.
You also shouldn’t use a fetal doppler as a replacement for prenatal check-ups.
Your Fetal Doppler is Replacing Pregnancy Monitoring Signs
Fetal dopplers are one way to monitor your pregnancy. However, hearing heartbeats should never be your only pregnancy monitoring sign. Stick to the instructions your doctor has given you on how to monitor your pregnancy.
For high-risk pregnancies, this might look different. For regular pregnancies, many women are encouraged to count kicks. Paying attention to the frequency of movement will help you notice if things change, allowing you to seek help for potential problems.
You’re Using Your Fetal Doppler Non-Stop
Fetal dopplers are a fun tool to use to listen to your baby—but you shouldn’t use them constantly. Using the doppler for short periods of a few minutes each session is ideal. That’s enough time for you to find the heartbeat and bond with your baby. Since the doppler uses technology similar to an ultrasound, it’s proven to be low-risk when used normally.
It’s not a good idea to use your doppler several times a day or for long periods of time. That’s because there’s not enough evidence to show whether it’s safe. According to the FDA, there’s a lack of evidence that ultrasound imaging and heartbeat monitors can cause any harm—even with long sessions. However, ultrasound slightly heats tissues, so overusing it should be avoided. Even though there’s no evidence obsessive use can cause negative effects, it’s always best to be on the safe side when it comes to your baby.
Apart from safety concerns, obsessively using a fetal doppler can create unnecessary anxiety. If you feel the need to constantly check on your baby, put your doppler away for a while. Come back to it when you’re calmer and have reassurance from other pregnancy signs, like kicks.
Want to learn more about the safety of fetal doppler devices? Read: The Truth Behind 5 Common Fetal Heart Monitor Myths
Summary: Signs You’re Using Your Fetal Doppler Wrong
Fetal dopplers make it easy to hear your baby’s heartbeat from home. However, to make the most out of your experience, make sure you’re using it right. Using your fetal doppler Sonoline B incorrectly can lead you to pick up the wrong noise, detect nothing at all, or create too much feedback. Use the tips in this article to enjoy your fetal doppler experience in the best way possible.
P.S. Do You Have a Fetal Doppler Sonoline B Yet?
If you don’t have a fetal doppler yet, what are you waiting for? These small devices allow you to listen to your baby’s heartbeat from anywhere! Each model comes with batteries and a free sample of ultrasound gel, allowing you to get started right away.