Should you get a fetal doppler?
Hearing your baby’s heartbeat sounds interesting, but what’s the purpose? There’s a myriad of reasons why couples love using a fetal doppler. From bonding to making keepsakes, the device has many benefits during pregnancy.
If you’re on the fence about getting a fetal doppler, you should consider these 8 ways it could elevate your pregnancy.
What is a Fetal Doppler for Home?
Fetal dopplers are devices that use ultrasound technology to detect your baby’s heartbeat and amplify it through speakers. It works using the Doppler effect:
- Probe sends out waves
- Waves bounce off your fetus
- Waves are echoed back into the device
Doctors use fetal dopplers during prenatal checkups to evaluate the baby’s heart and development.
Fetal dopplers for home use are also gaining popularity. Although they cannot be used to diagnose medical conditions like a doctor can, they have many other benefits. A home fetal doppler can create bonding opportunities for parents-to-be. The recordings can also be shared with family and medical professionals.
Fetal dopplers can be used starting around 12 weeks, although some people may need to wait longer or shorter.
Are Fetal Dopplers Safe to Use?
There is no evidence that fetal doppler use can harm your baby. Fetal dopplers use similar technology to ultrasounds, which have been widely used since the 1970s. In comparison, medical ultrasound imaging uses frequencies between 2 and 20MHz while fetal dopplers only use between 2 and 3MHz.
While fetal dopplers don’t cause harm, there are a few precautions to take:
- Don’t use it to self-diagnose. Only medical professionals can use fetal dopplers to diagnose problems. Since you aren’t trained, you don’t know what to look for and you could be using the device wrong. If you are concerned, contact your doctor or midwife. You can also use the BabyDoppler app to record the sound and send it to your doctor for advice.
- Don’t ignore other pregnancy warnings. At any time during pregnancy, if you experience pregnancy warnings—like a loss of symptoms—you should seek medical attention. If you experience a loss of fetal movement but still think you hear a heartbeat, you should still seek medical attention. Since you aren’t a medical professional, you can’t rely on doppler results like a doctor might.
- Fetal dopplers don’t replace appointments. Fetal dopplers don’t replace medical appointments. Although they’re good to use between check-ups, they don’t replace medical evaluation or advice.
8 Reasons Everyone Pregnant Should Have a Fetal Doppler for Home
There are many reasons why everyone pregnant should consider getting a fetal doppler. Below are the top ways the device elevates your pregnancy.
Increases Bonding Between Mother and Baby
A top reason people love fetal dopplers is because of their ability to create bonding experiences. Until you start to feel movement, you might feel there’s limited ways to connect with your baby. Hearing her heartbeat helps you bond with your growing baby before birth. Enjoy a mindful moment where you focus on nothing but you and your baby’s heartbeat.
Bonding with your baby using a fetal doppler is fun but it may also be good for your mental health. Bonding can increase attachment during pregnancy. A lack of prenatal attachment has been associated with postpartum depression. In fact, researchers say that increasing prenatal attachment can influence how you adapt to motherhood.
Increases Bonding Between Baby and Non-Pregnant Partner
A fetal doppler can also encourage bonding between the baby and your partner.
For the pregnant partner, life has already changed thanks to their symptoms and growing belly. But for the non-pregnant partner, life might not feel different until after birth. Some say the pregnancy “doesn’t feel real” until delivery.
Since the non-pregnant partner has limited ways to experience the baby before she’s born, fetal dopplers are a good way to increase attachment. Your partner can listen to your baby’s heartbeat and take in their child for the first time.
Fetal dopplers are also a good bonding tool for partners who can’t attend prenatal appointments or ultrasounds.
Introduces Child to Sibling
Fetal dopplers provide a gentle way to introduce your child to their new sibling before birth.
For a child, meeting their baby sibling for the first time can be overwhelming and there’s usually a period of adjustment. And since a child might not understand what it means to have a sibling, it can be difficult to prepare them for one.
Using a fetal doppler can give you a tool to gently explain to your child that their sibling is on their way. With your growing belly and a heartbeat, they may have a better understanding.
For anxious parents, even when nothing is wrong with your baby, you may still be paranoid something will go wrong.
The best checkmark of fetal health is normal fetal movement (AKA counting kicks) and a continuation of pregnancy symptoms. Along with those two critical factors, hearing a heartbeat can act as another checkmark. This can help an overcautious mother relax—especially if she’s worried after prior miscarriages.
With that in mind, hearing a heartbeat should never be the only checkmark of fetal health. If you experience a loss of pregnancy symptoms—whether or not you hear a heartbeat—you should always seek medical attention. Fetal dopplers are not a replacement for medical evaluation or advice.
Send Heartbeat Recording to Doctor
If you ever have questions about anything you hear with a fetal doppler, you can record it and send it to your doctor.
First, download the BabyDoppler app. Use it to record your baby’s heartbeat and save the clip to your device. Send the file to your doctor or midwife.
Share Fetal Doppler Heartbeat with Family
Another reason every pregnant parent should have a fetal doppler is to share the pregnancy with their family.
Invite close family members and friends to use your fetal doppler and detect the heartbeat. Have them connect with your baby and experience your pregnancy.
Heartbeat recordings can be especially special to long distances relatives who aren’t there to see your pregnancy progress. Since they can’t feel the baby’s kicks in person, they can enjoy hearing her heart thump.
Include the Heartbeat in Your Baby Shower
Make your baby shower one to remember by using a fetal doppler. Your guests will get to hear your baby alongside you, experiencing her for the first time.
You could also use your fetal doppler for a game of “Guess the Fetal Heart Rate.” Have your guests write their guesses on a sheet of paper. When they’re finished, use the fetal doppler to detect the fetal heart rate. Whoever is closest wins a prize!
Did you know your baby’s heartbeat is usually 120-180bpm while yours is only 60-80bpm? Capture the fast noise of your baby’s galloping heartbeat and keep it forever, showing it to them when they grow up.
To create a keepsake, download the BabyDoppler app and use it to record the heartbeat on your BabyDopper device. Save the heartbeat file to your phone or upload it to an online storage space for safekeeping.
You can also make a keepsake video by combining the heartbeat audio with:
- Maternity photos
- Sonogram photos
- Text (ex. due date)
- Video baby wishes
Get the tutorial: DIY Heartbeat Video Keepsake with Fetal Doppler Sonoline B
Learn More About Fetal Dopplers
If you’re interested in learning more about fetal dopplers, check out our guides:
- Fetal Doppler Q&A: 12 Most Pressing Questions Answered
- What a Pocket Fetal Doppler CAN and CAN’T Tell You
- 6 Tips to Spot Fake Fetal Dopplers: Buyer Beware
- Fetal Doppler Reviews to Read Before Buying
Learn more about using your fetal doppler:
- Quick Set Up Guide | How to Use Your Baby Doppler
- How to Use a Fetal Doppler – The Proper Way
- Heartbeat or Another Noise? 8 Tips to Discern Fetal Doppler Noises
- 11 Signs You’re Using Your Fetal Doppler WRONG
For fun tips on using a fetal doppler read:
- 7 Fun Portable Uses for Your Pocket Fetal Doppler
- 14 Fun Things to Do with a Fetal Heartbeat Monitor
- 10 Ways to Use Your Fetal Doppler During Spring
- 9 Ways to Use Fetal Doppler During the Holidays
Summary: Reasons to Own a Fetal Doppler Sonline B
Fetal dopplers for home use are growing in popularity thanks to their ability to bond baby and parent. But there’s a variety of other benefits too. Recordings of the heartbeat can be used as keepsakes or sent to healthcare professionals if concerns arise.
Don’t Have a Fetal Doppler Yet?
If you don’t have a fetal doppler yet, you’re missing out on bonding opportunities. Imagine hearing your baby’s heart beating inside you, developing, and getting ready for the big day.