Fetal dopplers allow you to hear your baby’s heartbeat, but they can do a lot more too.
Although fetal heartbeat monitors help you monitor your baby’s health, you can use them for other purposes and even involve friends and family.
The device can be used to announce pregnancies, bond, make keepsakes, share recordings with your doctor and more.
Read on to discover all the things you can do with a fetal heartbeat monitor.
How to Use Fetal Doppler
Fetal dopplers are similar to an ultrasound, which can make it seem like they’re complicated to use. The devices are easy to get the hang of, especially once you know what a fetal heartbeat sounds like. Many women can start hearing a heartbeat around 12 weeks, although it could happen sooner or later. Here’s how a fetal heartbeat monitor works:
- Apply a glob of ultrasound gel to your lower belly (a free samplecomes with our models).
- Turn the device on.
- Place the probe in the gel.
- Glide the probe from your pubic bone toward your belly button in a rocking motion.
- Continue until you detect a heartbeat.
- You need to discern between your heartbeat and your baby’s heartbeat. If the screen displays a heartbeat of around 120 beats per minute and up, it’s probably your baby. Some people describe the sound as similar to galloping horses. By contrast, your heartbeat is much slower and typically between 60 and 100.
- If you can’t hear the heartbeat, it could be too early or your baby could have switched positions. Turn off the device and try at another time.
14 Things to Do with Fetal Heartbeat Monitors
If you’re wondering what else you can do with your fetal doppler, check out this list.
#1 Announce Your Pregnancy to Family
You can use a fetal doppler to announce your pregnancy. Instead of simply telling them or writing them a card, make it a memorable experience that they can be a part of.
When you have your friends or family gathered around, pull out your fetal doppler and turn it on. Spread ultrasound gel over your belly and glide the probe until you detect your baby’s heartbeat. Your loved ones will be surprised at the announcement and that they get to hear the first signs of life.
#2 Send Video of Heartbeat to Announce Pregnancy
If you don’t live near or can’t see your family in person, have your partner or friend film you using the fetal doppler. Make sure they get good quality audio of the heartbeat and a shot of the fetal heart rate displayed on the device.
If you’re creative, you can edit the video:
- Add title announcing your pregnancy
- Add text stating your due date
- Add music before/after the heartbeat
- Add scanned photo of the sonogram
- Personalize it for family members/friends
You can send the video to your friends in an email, message on social media or simply send them a link to an uploaded copy.
#3 Send Recording in E-Card Pregnancy Announcement
If you want to use a fetal doppler as a creative way to announce your pregnancy, you can simply use an audio recording instead of a video.
You can try to record the audio with your smartphone; however, it may not pick up the beat as well as you want it to. For better quality, use a voice recorder (you can purchase one on Amazon). Upload the audio on a site like Dropbox and paste the shareable link inside an ecard note.
#4 Share a Video on Social Media
If you’re an expecting mother who loves sharing her journey on social media, consider posting a video of your fetal doppler experience (make sure to tag us @babydoppler). Your friends and family will love to see you enjoying your pregnancy and bonding with your baby.
#5 Bond with Your Baby
One of the most common reasons for getting a fetal doppler is to better bond with your baby. Although you can feel her kicks and see her during ultrasound appointments, an extra tool can bring you that much closer. There’s nothing quite like hearing your baby’s heartbeat before she’s born.
#6 Father-Baby Bonding Before Birth
As your baby grows inside you, you’ll discover new ways to bond with her before she’s born. You’ll feel her kicks, see how she responds to certain movements and feel her turning around, preparing for labor.
For your partner though, there’s not a lot of ways they can bond with the baby before birth. Because they’re not physically going through the pregnancy, they mainly experience it through you. This is especially true for partners who can’t be there during prenatal checkups and who miss ultrasound appointments.
One way your partner can get to know your child is by using a fetal doppler. Glide ultrasound gel over your lower baby and let your partner glide the probe until they detect a heartbeat. They can enjoy seeing the fetal heart rate and hearing the beat before birth. For some parents, this can make pregnancy finally seem “real” and allow them to better connect them with their child.
To get your partner more involved, teach them about how to differentiate your heartbeat from the babies and how to troubleshoot (read: 10 Must-Know Secret Tips for Finding Fetal Heartbeat with Doppler).
Testimonial: “I love the baby Doppler! My husband isn’t able to come to appointments with me, so he loves being able to hear the baby’s heartbeat at home in person!” – Dana
#7 Use it as a Date Idea
If you’re looking for pregnancy date ideas, try using a fetal doppler! It’s the perfect option for an at-home date idea that can bring you both closer to each other and the baby.
If you want to make it a romantic experience, dim the lights and light some candles to calm the mood before using the doppler. While you’re already laying down, why not end the date with a prenatal massage?
#8 Gift It
Even if you’re the one who will be using the fetal doppler, you can gift it to your partner because they will enjoy the experience too! The device can make a wonderful present for a parent-to-be for:
- Valentine’s day
- Father’s day
Not only is hearing your child’s heartbeat the best gift of all, but it also makes for a memorable experience on a special day.
#9 Take Maternity Photos
If you have a fetal heartbeat monitor, you can also use it to take maternity photos. Decide on a location where you can lie or lean down (bed, sofa, etc.). Make the area aesthetically pleasing by decorating it with cozy blankets, pillows, etc.
Wear something that exposes your belly. You can either pull up your shirt, use a button-down shirt or an open maternity dress.
Add some ultrasound gel to your lower belly and glide the probe until you detect a heartbeat. When you detect it, have your photographer take a photo, making sure to capture the fetal heart rate on the screen. If you’re doing a full session, make sure to include some full close-ups of the screen too. For ideas, you can search #fetaldoppler on Instagram for inspiration.
#10 Introduce Children to New Sibling
You can use a fetal doppler to introduce your children to the new baby before she’s born. This can be a gentle way to get your kids used to the idea of having a sibling. If you’re worried about your child rejecting the baby when she’s born, a fetal heartbeat monitor can help them adjust to the life change with less shock.
Before your child hears about the new baby from someone else, sit down with them and have a discussion. Let them process the news and then start involving them in baby activities, such as picking baby clothes or designing the nursery. As the experience gets closer, have them by your side as you use the device and allow them to hear their sibling’s heartbeat.
#11 Monitor Her Health
The most common reason expecting moms get an at-home fetal heartbeat monitor is to check on their baby’s health. It should always be noted that these devices do not replace a doctor’s appointment. They also can’t be used at home to diagnose issues.
With that being said, you can learn how to use a fetal doppler correctly so that you’ll be more likely to detect any issues should they occur. Once you get used to using the device, you’ll see patterns in your baby’s heartbeat and likely know if there’s an abnormality suddenly. If that happens, you can let your doctor know, who can confirm and investigate the cause.
#12 Show Family
Family and friends, especially grandparents and godparents, are always especially anxious to hear how the baby is doing. If you have a friend that’s particularly interested and caring about your journey, show them the fetal doppler. They’ll feel even more connected to the baby when they hear her heartbeat.
#13 Record Heartbeat for Your Doctor
One of the best uses for a fetal doppler is to catch abnormalities in your baby’s heartbeat. Although you may hear these issues yourself, they can be hard to describe. And since the problem may not occur during appointments, your doctor may have a harder time diagnosing or confirming the issue.
You can use your phone recorder and your fetal heartbeat monitor to record the heartbeat and play it back for your doctor or midwife. Based on the audio, they may be able to confirm or deny that there’s an issue. This is particularly a good idea for women who’ve had prior miscarriages or people with high-risk pregnancies who are more suspectable to conditions.
#14 Make Keepsakes
You can use the recordings of your baby’s heartbeat to make a keepsake that you can hold onto for decades to come. Imagine showing your 20-year-old child how they sounded while they were inside your womb. Make a recording and store it on a hard drive or online storage space where it will be safe for years.
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