At-home fetal dopplers: Reassurance or unnecessary anxiety? — The Bump
October 2017 Moms

At-home fetal dopplers: Reassurance or unnecessary anxiety?

100 Love Its 10 Comments Name Dropper First Anniversary
edited March 2017 in October 2017 Moms
Hi all, FTM mom here, also 40 years old which makes things extra never-wrecking for me.  For those 2nd, 3rd, etc time moms who bought fetal dopplers, did you find it helpful in terms of getting reassurance or did you find it causes extra anxiety if at times you couldn't find a heart rate after initially finding one?  I'm considering getting one for some peace of mind between doctors appointments, but I worry that I will a) become OCD over it and check all the time and panic over every change in heart rate, or b)have major panic attacks if for some reason I couldn't pick up a h/b.  Are there times because of baby's position that you just can't pick one up?  I also have a SCH with bleeding with this pregnancy so I'm always worried and sometimes would like some additional reassurance. 

Re: At-home fetal dopplers: Reassurance or unnecessary anxiety?

  • Hey! 2nd time mom here! For me the Doppler is an essential. It saved my sanity during my first pregnancy. I used it whenever I felt worried or when I got this awful sickly anxiety feeling in my stomach. I am a worry wart and knowing I can check on baby anytime, was great. I didn't keep track of heart rates, just knowing there is a HB was great. Once baby starts kicking regularly and around the same time every day, I was happy not using the Doppler as much. Using it was like having a window into what's going on. I have already tried the Doppler in this pregnancy but couldn't find anything, I guess it's still too early at 10 weeks. You have to wait until the uterus starts moving up a bit, use lots of lube and lie flat on your back. You'd have to push on your stomach quite a bit and move the Doppler slowly. Be patient and listen out for something that sounds like a train. You will find 3 sounds. One is your HB, one is the placenta and one is baby's HB. Check on YouTube to see what sound exactly you are looking for. Also, I recommend leaving a few days between Doppler sessions. Don't use it every day and especially not several times a day. It is beautiful to lie in your own bed and listening to your baby!
  • I had one with my first and it definitely helped me keep my sanity until I could feel the baby moving and even then on days when he just didn't move a lot or couldn't remember the last time I felt him move I would check. This one I'm only 8 weeks and I know it's practically impossible to find at this point, but I'm pretty sure I found it yesterday, still very indistinct, and hard to make out past my heart beat and blood rushing, but I heard the clippity clop sound very faintly behind all the other noises for about a second, which was great but very unlikely for most women to even make out at 8 weeks. But I watched a bunch of YouTube tutorials on how to find it. If I couldn't make it out I would just tell myself that everything was still fine and just search again the next day and would normally find it. If you think that might cause you to panic and freak out it might be better not to get one, but it's up to you and how you think it will impact you and the pregnancy.

  • Third baby here and first time with a Doppler and it's a life saver. I was anxious at around 10 weeks knowing that other people found it but I borrowed an angel sounds then and I don't think it's as good. I bought the sonoline b now and find it every time. I'm 12 weeks on Tuesday. It's really giving me so much relief and peace.  <3
  • Is the sonoline b the main one that everyone buy? Where do you buy it?
  • If you think you can stay calm on the days you might not find it, it is worth it. As a loss mama, my doppler has been a life-saver. I can find the heartbeat about every other day now (10+3 today) but there were many days after the first time at 9+1 I couldn't. My baby likes to hang out low, so it's faint, but it means everything to have that reassurance. If you can't see yourself staying calm when you can't find it, skip it.
    Renee, 32 + Devon, 27 married 08/13 <3
    TTC  09/15
    *TW Loss mentioned*
    BFP 12/15/15 EDD: 08/26/16
    MMC discovered 1/25/16 at 9 +3
    TTCAL 3/2016
    Acupuncture 11/16
    Dx December 2016: unexplained 
    January 2017: 50 mg Clomid + TI =
    BFP #2 01/30/17  Please be a sticky baby!
    EDD: 10/15/17  Measuring ahead! 10/12/17 

  • Just found the HB for the first time at 10+4. So exciting!!!
  • The doppler is a life saver for me too. I've experienced a MMC and knowing that I can check on baby every now and then is key to keeping my sanity. I try not to use it more often than every other day but if I have really bad anxiety I will use it outside of that. I found the Hb for the first time at 9+3 and am 11+2 now and have successfully found it every time I've used it. Mind you, sometimes it takes longer and a lot more patience, but it's always there. I had the doppler for my last pregnancy too and there were actually a few days where I couldn't find it and I was surprised that I didn't get more anxious than I did when that happened. In those cases, I usually just tried again later in the day and found it then. 
  • Evidently I was hearing things yesterday when I thought I heard the clip clop heart beat, I explain in a new post, but yes, fetal dopplers are a great stress reliever.

  • @Knottie1447173547 I got mine off of a local yard sale Facebook page but they're on Amazon and etc. I highly recommend. 
  • They sell the Sonoline's on Ebay for like $30-40 I think.
    I used it with my first and loved having it, I used it every few weeks for reassurance and plan on using it again this time also. In between I let friends borrow it also.

  • I'm having a hard time finding the heart beat with my doppler, but I'm almost positive i can hear fetal movement and I've heard the placenta working away. Pretty fun to listen to. 

  • @emwj10187 how far along are you? Try with a full bladder and put the Doppler in the middle just above your pubic bone. Move slowly in circles. That way it worked for me. Good luck :-)
  • azerimamaazerimama
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    edited March 2017
    I haven't read any of the other responses, so please excuse me if this is a repeat. I am pregnant with #2, and I'm 12 weeks today. We bought a doppler the 1st time around, but it wasn't very helpful before the 16 week mark. After that timeframe though, I found it helped reassure me whenever I would get periods of non-movement. I think it would largely depend on how much you spend on it. I got a great deal on a second hand one from a friend. For the $50 I paid, it was worth it.

    Edit: For the record, it took so long for me because I am a plus size pregnancy (I was with my 1st too). Harder to get the HB early on.
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