Enhance your second trimester by using a popular pregnancy tool: the fetal doppler.
Pocket fetal dopplers, AKA fetal heart rate monitors, allow you to detect your baby’s heartbeat.
Most parents can hear a heartbeat by the second trimester, making it the perfect time to start using a fetal doppler.
There’s many benefits to using a fetal doppler throughout your pregnancy, especially in the second trimester.
What Is a Fetal Doppler?
Pocket fetal dopplers are small devices that fit into the palm of your hand. The attached probe transmits sound waves through your belly that are amplified through speakers. This allows you to hear your baby’s heartbeat. You’ll also see her fetal heart rate displayed on screen.
Fetal dopplers are used in doctor’s offices to ensure the baby is developing normally. Although at-home versions cannot diagnose medical issues, they can create a bonding experience for the whole family.
It’s easy to use a fetal doppler. Here’s how:
- Apply a blob of ultrasound gel to your lower belly (BabyDoppler devices come with a free sample)
- Place probe in gel and turn the device on
- Rock the probe in a slow, angular motion covering all parts of your belly
- Stop when you detect the heartbeat
- Get more details: How to Use a Fetal Doppler – The Proper Way
Discerning which noise the heartbeat is can be tricky at first. To help you learn easily, read Heartbeat or Another Noise? 8 Tips to Discern Fetal Doppler Noises
To learn more about what fetal dopplers are, read out guides:
- 7 Fun Portable Uses for Your Pocket Fetal Doppler
- What a Pocket Fetal Doppler CAN and CAN’T Tell You
- 14 Doppler Don’ts: Fetal Doppler for Home Use Mistakes
9 Reasons to Use a Fetal Doppler in the Second Trimester
Hearing your baby is a special and unique experience. Instead of waiting until your next ultrasound, you can check in on your baby from home. Besides that, there’s many other benefits to using a fetal doppler in the second trimester.
Creates Prenatal Bonding
Perhaps the best benefit of a fetal doppler is that it creates prenatal bonding. By hearing our baby’s heartbeat, we feel closer to them. It can help us better connect when we hear the sound of their development.
Short fetal doppler sessions represent small windows for bonding. It’s a time we can escape from our worries or to-do list and focus in on our little one.
Some parents wait until after birth to begin bonding with their baby. But as you’ll learn below, there’s many benefits to bonding with your baby during pregnancy.
Prenatal bonding Improves Postnatal Bonding
Several studies have shown that poorer prenatal bonding in any trimester is related to weaker postnatal bonding.
Fetal dopplers are a tool to create pregnancy bonding. Like rubbing your belly or singing to your baby, they give you another way to connect before birth. By hearing her heartbeat, you have a way to physically experience her. Although you can always intuitively connect with your baby, experiencing her with your senses helps pregnancy feel more “real.”
May Help Adapt to Motherhood
Along with creating bonding experiences, fetal dopplers may also help you adapt better to motherhood.
A 2022 study found that prenatal attachment was related to how women adapt to motherhood. In short, if you bond with your baby during pregnancy, it can help you feel and be more ready once the baby actually comes.
Taking this into consideration, having more ways to connect with your baby can make you feel more ready after birth. Spending time with your baby by hearing her heartbeat can help you feel more emotionally attached to them.
Non-Pregnant Partner Bonding
The father or non-pregnant partner only has a few ways to bond with the baby before birth. Since they’re not physically experiencing the changes themselves, the experience may feel less “real.”
Fetal dopplers give non-pregnant partners another way to connect with the baby. They can help mom apply the ultrasound gel and use the probe to detect the correct noise. Together, you can cherish the opportunity of hearing your baby.
There’s many benefits to both partners being involved in the pregnancy. For example, research shows that involved fathers may increase the mother’s psychological well-being.
Pregnancy Mindfulness & Relaxation
Once mothers know how to correctly use a fetal doppler, many find it to be a relaxing experience.
During the second trimester, you’re dealing with a myriad of stressful symptoms like congestion, swelling, and aches. On top of that, you’re dealing with mental stresses like preparing for the baby. Fetal doppler sessions can give you a way to relax and focus on something other than your physical symptoms or mental overwhelm. The devices can help create mindfulness around your pregnancy.
Another Level of Reassurance
When you can correctly detect your baby’s heartbeat, it can act as another layer of reassurance that your baby is doing okay.
Often parents worry about their baby’s health between prenatal appointments—especially if they’ve experienced prior losses. During your second trimester, the time between appointments might feel too long and some parents may feel calmed by baby updates.
Monitoring your baby can help create more reassurance. For example, doctors usually recommend counting kicks to ensure your baby is developing as normal. Along with watching for fetal movement, periodically using a fetal doppler can also be reassuring. Hearing her heartbeat along with other signs of pregnancy can let you know that she’s doing okay.
Once you’ve detected your baby’s heartbeat, you can use the BabyDoppler app to record it. You can use that audio to create meaningful keepsakes for family and friends. For example, try creating a DIY Baby Heartbeat Keepsake Video. Combine the heartbeat audio with sonogram photos, maternity photoshoot images, letters to your baby, and more. Share the video with friends, family, or on social media. This is also a great way to publicly announce your pregnancy in the second trimester.
Observe Baby Development
Many parents find a fetal doppler fascinating because it lets them hear their baby’s development in real-time. On average, you can detect a heartbeat starting around week 12. However, some parents can detect a heartbeat as early as 9 weeks.
A baby’s heartbeat around this time will be around 170 bpm (beats per minute). However, by week 14, it usually declines to around 150 bpm. Your baby’s heartbeat is usually highest when their heart is developing and slows down as it matures. Using a fetal doppler periodically over time allows you to notice the heartbeat changes. You can also use the BabyDoppler app to keep a record of your baby’s heartbeat.
Report Concerns to Your Doctor
Since you’re not a medical professional, you can’t use a fetal heartbeat monitor to diagnose problems. However, the device may help you catch issues that you can report for further investigation.
After the 12th week of pregnancy, your chances of miscarriage decrease but problems can still happen. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, your doctor or midwife may even recommend using a fetal doppler to check on your baby’s heartbeat.
If you think you’re detecting a heartbeat abnormality, you can record the heartbeat and send it to your doctor for advice. They can also ensure you’re using the device correctly and detecting the real heartbeat.
Pocket Fetal Doppler Best Model
If you don’t have a pocket fetal doppler yet, which model should you buy?
We recommend fetal doppler Sonoline B for a few major reasons:
- Industry-trusted model
- Reliable device with clear sound and reduced static
- Free ultrasound gel sample for first sessions
- Comes with everything you need to get started, including batteries
- Lightweight and portable
- BabyDoppler app allows you to track & record heartbeat
- FDA and Health Canada approved
Get the Industry Trust Sonoline B Fetal Doppler Today!
Need more help purchasing a pocket fetal doppler model? Read our guides:
- Should You Invest in a Fetal Doppler Sonoline B?
- Top Buying Guide for Fetal Dopplers: Best Models For Home Use
- 6 Tips to Spot Fake Fetal Dopplers: Buyer Beware
- Fetal Doppler Reviews to Read Before Buying
Summary: Fetal Dopplers in Second Trimester
Using a fetal doppler in your second trimester has many benefits. Most commonly, the device can help parents bond with their baby before birth. Prenatal bonding is known to have many advantages, like helping a mother adjust to parenthood and creating pregnancy mindfulness. Hearing your baby’s heartbeat can also provide another level of reassurance alongside other pregnancy signs. And, if you suspect any problems, you can record the sound and send it to your doctor for advice. As a bonus, heartbeat recordings can also be used to create pregnancy keepsakes that you can send to friends, family, or share on social media.