Probably every woman knows that when you’re pregnant, there is nothing as pleasant and comforting as realizing the fact that there’s a tiny little heart beating under your own. And, of course, when you are pregnant, there is nothing as reassuring as hearing your unborn baby’s heartbeat sound.
Today’s technological world allows expecting moms track their babies’ growth before they are born. Usually it happens when you have an appointment with your doctor, who can treat you with an ultrasound machine to monitor your baby’s growth. But thanks to latest technological devices like fetal heartbeat monitors & fetal Doppler monitors, monitoring your baby has become even easier and more handy. So, what is a fetal Doppler monitor and what is it used for?
What Is a Fetal Doppler? Types of Doppler Monitors
A fetal Doppler, sometimes referred to as Doppler fetal heart rate monitor, Doppler fetal monitor or simply “Doppler”, is an electronic device for monitoring the heartbeat of a fetus. Simply speaking, fetal Doppler is a hand-held ultrasound transducer, whose purpose is detecting the baby’s heartbeat for parental care.
It was invented in 1958 by Dr. Edward H. Hon with the purpose of monitoring the heartbeat of a fetus by using “the Doppler effect”, which provided an audible simulation of the baby’s heart beat. Fetal Doppler acts much like a traditional fetal stethoscope that provides you with information about the fetus allowing you to listen to the heartbeat. The main difference between the two is purely acoustic-like, meaning that fetal Doppler has an electronic audio input or speaker-like device, which allows more than one person (mainly the user) hear the baby’s heartbeat. Other models of Doppler monitor can also read and show on display the baby’s heart rate in beats per minute. The general practice of using fetal Doppler monitor is sometimes referred to as Doppler auscultation.
Being originally created for health care providers to use, this inexpensive, yet effective electronic technology is getting more popular and accessible for personal use, because it allows parents-to-be monitor their newborn at will, hear their baby’s heartbeat from the comfort of ones’ own home, which is to say rather reassuring and provides with a priceless peace of mind when hearing your baby is doing ok. Besides, it’s very exciting to hear your newborn firsthand. Still, Doppler heartbeat monitors are recommended against home use, and preferably should be used under doctor’s supervision, otherwise, there is a risk of possible harm to a developing fetus or resulting in misreading.
What concerns types of Doppler monitors for hospital & home use, they differ in the following ways:
- manufacturer: Cooper Surgical (former Summit Doppler), Nicolet, Newman Medical and Arjo-Huntleigh;
- probe type: waterproof (for water births) and not;
- probe frequency: 2-MHz (for overweight pregnant women) or 3-MHz (to detect a heartbeat in early pregnancy);
- heart rate display: fetal heart rate automatically displayed on a built-in LCD, fetal heart rate should be timed and counted by a practitioner.
Doppler Baby Heart Monitor: Pros & Cons of Using a Fetal Doppler Monitor
Buying fetal Dopplers for home use has become a new trend, which has its own drawbacks. So, here are all the pluses and minuses of using a fetal Doppler for monitoring your baby’s heart rate at home.
- no negative side effects to either the baby or pregnant woman;
- provides peace of mind (esp. with high-risk pregnancies);
- gives a unique experience of bonding with your baby before it is born;
- checking the baby’s heartbeat at will (esp. when the baby is not active).
- greater complexity and lower reliability (if compared with a fetal stethoscope);
- can cause added anxiety;
- may cause parents ignore possible distress signs.
AngelSounds Fetal Doppler: Your Personal Baby’s Heartbeat Listening Assistant
AngelSounds Fetal Doppler is considered to be one of the market’s most popular fetal Doppler devices. It has a lot of advantages to be bought: easy-to-use, includes everything you may need to start listening to your baby’s heartbeat (headphones for optimal audio quality), possibility to record the heartbeats as MP3 or WAV file (record cable is included), can be used either with or without transducer gel. This ultrasound transducer provides the possibility to begin listening to your baby’s heartbeat at about 14th-16th week of your pregnancy. Baby’s heartbeat records can later be sent via email to your friends, family etc. It’s an easy and time saving ultrasound solution, because you don’t necessarily have to visit your doctor every time you would like to listen to your baby’s heartbeat. Heartbeat fetal monitor is practical, affordable and safe for both you and your unborn child.