If you are looking for a great fetal doppler look no further! I bought this Sonoline B Pocket Fetal Doppler two and half years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter and have never looked back. I looked at several different fetal dopplers at the time and this was the only one I found with consistently good reviews and is supposedly the number 1 selling fetal doppler in the world. Not only that, but it’s FDA approved!
*Disclaimer: Just a heads up guys this is not medical advice. Please consult with your primary care provider before making any decisions that will impact your health. For further information, see my disclaimer page.
Why I love this Doppler
It is super easy to use! Just turn it on, put some jelly on your lower abdomen, place the wand and start searching! It has volume control, a headphone jack if you’re trying not to disturb anyone, a backlight LED screen if you like to do things in the dark, battery indicator, and mode button to switch between three different modes: average heart rate, real-time heart rate, and manual mode that allows user to view heart rate for an 8 beat period. It also only takes 2 AA batteries that last several months depending on how often you use it.
The first time I found my baby’s heart rate was at 8 weeks and 5 days pregnant. Take note though that this is very early to get a heart rate and that they don’t recommend people trying at home until 12 to 13 weeks. I however could not wait for my OB appointment that was 2 weeks away and having some experience as a nurse with fetal dopplers decided to give it a try anyways.
It took me several minutes to find it. Now granted I was still very early in my pregnancy which means baby is very small and hard to find. Do NOT get discouraged if you are having trouble finding it. I could not find my baby’s heart rate the first time I tried at exactly 8 weeks. It wasn’t until 5 days later that I was successful!! The trick I learned from watching many physicians attempt this at work, is to place the doppler just above the pubic bone and aim downward pointing the wand underneath the pubic bone. This is where the baby is hiding!! The uterus doesn’t come out from behind the pubic bone until about 12-13 weeks.
Now the next question is, how do I tell the difference between my heartbeat and the baby’s? The baby’s heart rate is going to be much higher than yours. Adult heart rates range from 60 to 100. A fetus between 6-9 weeks usually runs between 160-180 and then after that it will stabilize between 120-160! So if you get a heart rate between 120-180, that is your baby!!
Be mindful though that an artery runs along each side of your uterus, so it is very easy to pick up your own heart rate. However, you can also use these two arteries as markers knowing that your uterus is between them. Hence, that is where you will find your precious baby!
A few things to consider:
- when you are searching for fetal heart tones stay in one spot at first and point the doppler in all different directions before moving it to a different spot on your abdomen.
- Always move the doppler slowly otherwise you can pass right over the baby and miss what you are looking for.
- Be sure to use enough ultrasound gel to help transmit the sound waves
- The more tissue you have between the surface of your skin and your uterus, the harder it will be to hear the fetal heart tones. An ultrasound tech informed me that this is because the sound waves have farther to travel.
Last but not least I want to mention that the jury is still out on whether or not ultrasound waves can cause harm to the fetus. There is evidence that ultrasound waves can heat tissues. Therefore, the FDA recommends limiting use of ultrasound devices and consulting with your OB or medical provider before using a fetal doppler at home. The reason being that at home the number of times and duration that the doppler is being used is not controlled. So please consult your doctor before using a fetal doppler!
P.S. If like me you didn’t buy any ultrasound gel, try lube!! Water and silicone based works great! Plus most people have some sort of lube hiding in a crevice somewhere or out in the open (whatever floats your boat).
What is your experience with fetal dopplers?