What is a Fetal Doppler and how does it work?
Fetal doppler or baby heartbeat monitor is a handheld ultrasound device used to detect baby’s heartbeat in the womb of the mother. It uses Doppler effect to provide an audible simulation of the heart beat. Fetal dopplers have become very popular among the expecting parents and are available online and over the counter at retail outlets. Fetal dopplers are similar in principle to Ultrasound imaging devices which are used by doctors to capture the image of the baby inside the womb.
Fetal Doppler versus Ultrasound Imaging
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for the regulation medical devices, such as fetal dopplers and ultrasound imaging devices. Though fetal ultrasound imaging and fetal Dopplers are placed in the same class by the FDA, they are very different from one another. The sound waves used in fetal ultrasound imaging are much more intense than those used in fetal Doppler monitors. Many businesses offer fetal ultrasound imaging, where the ultrasound is used to obtain a video of the baby that can take as long as an hour. The FDA has voiced concerns over the prolonged period of time that these businesses use ultrasounds on the growing baby. Ultrasounds are considered to be safe, but there are no studies that have shown the effects that using an ultrasound may have on a baby for a longer period of time.
A fetal Doppler or heartbeat monitor uses sound waves that are much less intense than those of ultrasound imaging making them safe to use.
So is it safe to use a Fetal Doppler?
The FDA has said that no studies have shown any negative effects to developing babies from fetal Doppler use by the parents to listen to their baby’s heartbeat. FDA has cleared the sale of fetal dopplers for home use but at the same time has issued an advisory to follow your doctor’s instructions for the correct usage of the devices.
Using fetal dopplers is a safe and effective way for expecting parents to bond with their baby and feel secure while listening to the heart beat.
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