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Fetal Doppler Test: My experiences with heartbeat ultrasound at home

The intervals between the ultrasound examinations at the gynecologist sometimes seem infinitely long during pregnancy. In the meantime, the uncertainty comes through every now and then.

How am I supposed to know that the belly-dweller is really doing well?

Why doesn't he move all day today?

Especially for women who have had a miscarriage experience, such thoughts are really agonizing. Wouldn't it be nice to have a device at home that you can just use to check it out? With a fetal doppler, you can hear your baby's heartbeat at home at any time.

I tested such a fetal doppler and compared it with other devices.

Fetal Doppler in the test: Babymoov Doppler Connect Cocoon Life

Babymoov Connect Cocoon Life Fetal Doppler *
  • Developed by a gynecologist and obstetrician
  • Excellent sound quality thanks to the integrated impedance filter
  • 15 to 60 times lower ultrasound level than a normal ultrasound exam
Price: € 99.90Buy now * Price includes VAT, plus shipping costs
Last updated on June 30, 2020 at 7:18 am. We would like to point out that the link leads to an external online shop so that you can always find out about the current availability and the current price.

The Babymoov Fetal Doppler was developed by a gynecologist and obstetrician and is a small, compact device in ergonomic form that comes with headphones, batteries, smartphone connection cables and a gel for use.

According to the manufacturer, it can be used from the 12th week of pregnancy to Baby heart sounds at home to harden and thus without medical ultrasound.

The Radiation is 15 to 60 times less than that of a “real” ultrasounds, which can also record images.

It has a Noise filterso that you can hear the heartbeat better and you too Volume control.

Hearing the baby's heartbeat at home: the later, the easier it is

I have the Fetal Doppler from Babymoov in the 14th week of pregnancy and naturally wanted to try it out right away. My parents were visiting and I wanted them to be able to hear their grandson too.

The use of the Fetal Doppler is intuitive, I didn't need to read the operating instructions: I plugged the headphones into the socket marked for it, put some gel on my lower abdomen and switched the device on.

The slightly higher point on the back of the device is the part that rests on the stomach. What I could hear was just a noise.

I searched for a few minutes but couldn't find any heart sounds. Disappointed, I broke off the attempt. I knew it could be a bit tricky at first, but I was a bit worried.

So I tried again a few hours later, quietly, with no people around me. This time, after a short search, I found the baby's heartbeat and was calmed down. At the same time, I was totally mesmerized by what I could hear.

In the following weeks of pregnancy, listening to the baby's heartbeat with the Fetal Doppler at home became easier. On the one hand, that was probably due to the fact that I had more practice.

Sometimes in early pregnancy you have to push the device into your stomach at a slight angle, because the baby is still small and may be “hiding” behind the pubic bone.

On the other hand, the bigger the uterus and baby were, the easier it was. In the 22nd week of pregnancy, I was able to simply place the Fetal Doppler in the middle of the lower abdomen and always found the heartbeat immediately.

The app: record heartbeats and distinguish baby’s heartbeat from your own

A frequent criticism of fetal dopplers for the home is that parents can find their own heartbeat and confuse it with that of the baby. That is with Babymoov Doppler Connect Cocoon Life easily ruled out by simultaneously using the free appBaby Doppler Connect by Cocoon Life (available in the App Store or Google Play)installed on the smartphone and connected to the cable.

This immediately shows how fast the heartbeat found is.

The heartbeat of an adult is 60-80 beats / minute, that of a baby is up to 160 beats / minute. A Mixing up the heartbeat is therefore impossible.

You can also use the app to download the See and record your baby's heartbeat graphically. Then he lets himself go whole just send it to friends and relativesthat can already experience a part of the new life in this way.

When is a home fetal doppler really good?

The radiation from the fetal Doppler at home is lower than that from the ultrasound at the gynecologist. According to the current state of knowledge, this is Radiation is absolutely safe for your baby - but one cannot know with absolute certainty.

A recent change in the law decided that so-called “baby television”, ie a 3-D ultrasound examination without medical indication and at your own expense, is prohibited. The radiation exposure is simply too high.

In the case of radiation, it is well known that the dose makes the poison. This means that even a fetal doppler at home is not a toy that should be held against the baby bump 24/7. On the other hand, if you use it infrequently and carefully, it will not harm the baby.

The Fetal Doppler serves as a calming aid

That's why I only listen to my baby's heartbeats with the Fetal Doppler when I'm worried - or when I want to show them to someone (like my parents). But above all, if you tend to be overly concerned, such a Doppler device has become valuable to me. After all, it has been proven that stress hormones are not good for the development of the baby - with ultrasound radiation you are just not 100% sure that it is harmless.

So if you've had a miscarriage before, for example, or are simply a person who worries a lot, then the Fetal Doppler could be just the thing. For example, I got light bleeding myself in the 18th week of pregnancy.

To hear that my baby is doing well in the stomach, I first took the Doppler machine to hand. That calmed me down tremendously for the way to the doctor and the very long wait that followed. In fact, the baby was fine too, the bleeding was harmless.

Other fetal dopplers in comparison

Now is that Babymoov Doppler Connect Cocoon Life Far from the only home Doppler on the market. I am very happy with the price-performance ratio myself, but you might be wondering if it is really the best?

That's why I compared it with the other Fetal Dopplers and their properties.

Here I have now made an overview table of the common fetal Dopplers so that you can easily choose which one meets your criteria.

linkBabymoov Connect Cocoon Life Fetal Doppler *Sonoline B Baby Fetal Doppler orange + ultrasound gel ultrasound device *Pulox Sonotrax B Ultrasound Fetal Doppler with loudspeaker and LCD display *Fetal-Doppler Angelsounds ultrasound device for pregnant women, JPD-100S *ANGELSOUNDS MINI JPD-100SM Fetal Doppler PZN: 10055054 *
AvailabilityUsually ready for immediate dispatchDelivery in 1 working days after receipt of payment Shipping to: EuropeShipping to: Europe
properties
  • Sound quality very good
  • Display on free app
  • App records fetal heart sounds and saves all recordings safely
  • It is possible to send heart sounds and child movements to friends and relatives via messenger
  • Very good noise isolation
  • Battery, ultrasound gel and headphones included
  • No sensor of its own
  • Recording via socket with 3.5mm jack connection
  • large LCD display with various display functions
  • integrated loudspeaker
  • Batteries and gel included
  • own measuring probe
  • Headphone jack available
  • available in pink or light blue
  • large LCD display with various display functions
  • own measuring probe
  • integrated loudspeaker
  • Headphone jack available
  • Recording via socket with 3.5mm jack connection
  • Battery included
  • Gel and headphones not included
  • Recording via socket with 3.5mm jack connection
  • Connection cable for recording included in delivery
  • no sensor of its own
  • no display
  • Headphones and batteries included
  • Recording via socket with 3.5mm jack connection
  • Sending as an mp3 file
  • Battery, ultrasound gel and headphones included
  • no display, only sound
€ 99,90
Price includes VAT, plus shipping costs
Price not available
Price includes VAT, plus shipping costs
€ 52,90
Price includes VAT, plus shipping costs
Price not available
Price includes VAT, plus shipping costs
€ 32,90
Price includes VAT, plus shipping costs
to the providerBuy now*To offer*To offer*To offer*To offer*
AvailabilityUsually ready for immediate dispatch
properties
  • Sound quality very good
  • Display on free app
  • App records fetal heart sounds and saves all recordings safely
  • It is possible to send heart sounds and child movements to friends and relatives via messenger
  • Very good noise isolation
  • Battery, ultrasound gel and headphones included
  • No sensor of its own
AvailabilityDelivery within 1 working days after receipt of payment. Shipping to: Europe
properties
  • large LCD display with various display functions
  • own measuring probe
  • integrated loudspeaker
  • Headphone jack available
  • Recording via socket with 3.5mm jack connection
  • Battery included
  • Gel and headphones not included
AvailabilityShipping to: Europe
properties
  • Recording via socket with 3.5mm jack connection
  • Sending as an mp3 file
  • Battery, ultrasound gel and headphones included
  • no display, only sound
Last updated on June 30, 2020 at 7:18 am. We would like to point out that the link leads to an external online shop so that you can always find out about the current availability and the current price.

In principle, all devices available on the market are very similar.

Common features of all fetal dopplers:

  • work with low radiation
  • are small and handy
  • are very intuitive to use
  • enable the recording of heart sounds
  • have a volume control.

This means that when making your selection, you should first think about what you value and then use the criteria described in the table above to choose in which the Fetal Dopplers differ.

Here are the points to look out for:

  • Display: Not all devices have a display, with some you can only hear and record the heartbeat. Without a display, it can be difficult to tell the baby's heartbeat from your own.
  • Recording type:Most fetal dopplers require an external recording device that is connected via an audio jack. Only the Babymoov Doppler records easily via the app and thus enables immediate sending via messenger.
  • Price:The price ranges from € 30-80. The cheapest devices are only suitable for eavesdropping, the most expensive is the Babymoov device I tested. The cheapest device is certainly sufficient to just listen to the heartbeat.
  • Measuring probe:Some devices have an external measuring probe that is connected to the main device with a cable, with others you move the device directly over your stomach. I think a separate measuring probe is easier to use and no ultrasound gel can penetrate the battery compartment. The device is then less handy.
  • Scope of delivery:Some devices come with headphones, ultrasound gel and batteries, others not.
  • Speaker:Devices with their own measuring probe usually also have an integrated loudspeaker. You can still connect headphones. You can connect external speakers to all devices without integrated speakers.

Conclusion

With theBabymoov Doppler Connect So I was well advised. It is the only device that enables the heartbeat to be recorded directly with the associated smartphone app. That means I didn't have to connect or buy any additional technology. When I received the Fetal Doppler, I was traveling in Southeast Asia, so such a simple procedure is of course doubly useful. Because the smartphone app also replaces the display, it was easy not to confuse my baby's heartbeat with your own.

If I could choose a second of the described devices from the fetal Doppler comparison, I would choose the Sonoline B Baby Fetal Doppler decide. Because this one offers the best performance for the lower price: A dedicated measuring probe, a display, an integrated loudspeaker.

How Does a Home Fetal Doppler Work?

functionality

All fetal dopplers emit light ultrasound radiation, similar to a CTG machine. The ultrasound head sends and receives the radiation, which is reflected differently depending on the type of tissue. In order to hear tones, the so-called Doppler effect is used. This means that the frequency of emitted waves changes as an object approaches or moves away.

Most manufacturers provide ultrasound gel, but theoretically it works with water or oil on the stomach. It is only important that there is a liquid on the sensor so that the waves can be transmitted correctly.

When do you hear the baby's heartbeat?

Manufacturers state that the Fetal Doppler find hertones from the 12th week, but in some cases also work from the 10th week of pregnancy. That depends mainly on your physique and the position of the baby or placenta. How early you can hear your baby's heartbeat does not tell you anything about the course of pregnancy or fetal development.

If you are trying to hear the heartbeat as early as possible, keep in mind that the uterus is still directly below the pubic bone in the first few weeks of pregnancy. So it may be that you have to press the Doppler probe gently and slightly diagonally into your abdominal wall directly above the pubic bone so that it can, so to speak, "shine under".

You can also use a fetal doppler without a prior medical examination.

What can I hear with the Fetal Doppler?

With practice, not only will you be able to hear your baby's heartbeat, although that is the main purpose of the purchase for most women.

The Doppler device also provides hiccups in the womb, which some babies have quite often. That sounds like short drumbeats. With a lot of practice, you can also hear kicks, they are perceived like wave movements. And with a lot of expertise, you can even hear when your baby swallows amniotic fluid.

Distinguish the baby's heartbeat from your own

With a fetal doppler, you not only hear sounds from your uterus, but also from your own body. This can be digestive noises, your blood flow, or your own heartbeat. It differs from that of a baby in its speed. The heartbeat of an adult is 60-80 beats per minute, that of a baby 120-160 beats. Only fetal dopplers with a display show you the speed, with the others it takes a little practice and initiative.

Is Fetal Doppler Dangerous?

Is the radiation harmful to my baby?

The ultrasound radiation of a fetal doppler for the home is 15 to 60 times lower than with an ultrasound at a gynecologist. Ultrasound scans on babies have been done for many decades and so far there is no evidence that this radiation could harm or disturb babies. However, there is still no absolute certainty in this regard.

Manufacturers and experts therefore recommend not using the Doppler device at home too often and, above all, not for too long.

I can't hear my baby's heartbeat! - What to do?

A home fetal doppler is not a diagnostic device and without medical experience it is of little value if you cannot find the heartbeat. There can be various reasons for this. Therefore, the top priority is: Don't panic.

If you can't find your baby's heartbeat after a few minutes, distract yourself for a while and try again a few hours later. For example, ambient noises from digestion or a lot of fluids may overlay the heartbeat. A few hours later, things may look very different.

Perhaps your baby is also lying more unfavorably and much further down than the last time you could hear the baby's heartbeat.

Always keep in mind that pregnancy and the baby's growth are a completely natural process and that in most cases there are no complications, especially after the 12th or 17th week of pregnancy. The likelihood that you're looking in the wrong place, or yours for one of the other reasons Baby does not hear with the Fetal Doppler are many times more likely than that the little baby heart will stop beating.


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