WHEN CAN I START LISTENING TO MY BABY'S HEARTBEAT?
During week 6 of pregnancy the baby’s heart and circulatory system will start forming. The earlier along you are, the harder it will be to hear the baby’s heartbeat with a Doppler. Most women report hearing the heartbeat between weeks 9 and 14, depending on the position of the baby in the womb.
It’s important to note that every woman’s body is different and babies shift frequently during pregnancy, these factors may affect when you hear the heartbeat.
Please note: Patience is very important when it comes to using a heartbeat monitor, if results cannot be found within several minutes of trying, please try again a little bit later.
WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED?
Plug the probe into the bottom of the device. Insert AA batteries into the back compartment of the Fetal Doppler. Press the middle power button to turn on the LCD Display. Make sure you have your Ultrasound Gel nearby and some tissue for cleanup later.
WHAT STEPS SHOULD I TAKE ONCE I HAVE MY DEVICE IN HAND?
Start by lying down or sitting in a comfortable position and pushing your uterus as far forward as you can. Having a full bladder can help.
Use Lots of Gel
A sample size of lubrication gel comes with your Doppler. You can always purchase more. Gel is important to use with the Doppler because it allows for a clear sound. Without gel, the Doppler will not work, the waves travel through air and the interference will cause a static. The gel is used to minimize air between the doppler’s probe and skin to provide the best, most clear sound.
If your gel has bubbles in it, you might still hear static.
Don’t rub into the belly like a moisturizer. Instead apply two dollops directly onto the belly and use the probe to spread it.
Position the Probe
The further along you are in your pregnancy, the higher up your baby will be positioned. If you’re earlier along, start by placing the probe below your belly button and closer to your pubic bone.
The pubic bone is a large hard bone right in front of your bladder in the middle of your abdomen. Finding a baby’s heartbeat on a doppler requires a rocking motion of the probe. The best way to find the heartbeat is to start low and go slow. Don’t press down on the probe, gently angle it at 45* produces the best result.
Drag along your abdomen until you hear a heartbeat. It’s important to move slowly and in small movements, otherwise you can miss the heartbeat. Remember the way a doppler works is it amplifies sound when it’s nearby and minimizes it as you move further away. Gently rock the probe from side to side making sure to not miss any area of the bottom part of your abdomen until you find the heartbeat. You will clearly see the heart rate in beats per minute (BPM) on the screen.
I CAN'T SEEM TO FIND THE HEARTBEAT, OR HEARTBEAT IS FAINT. WHY IS THAT?
Please note that if you are trying to get the reading of the fetal heart rate in the early stages of the pregnancy, the heartbeat may not be strong enough to hear or the baby may be in a position that doesn’t allow the fetal doppler to obtain a clear reading of the heart rate. In this case, it might be wise to try again in a few minutes or the following day.