How does a fetal doppler work to detect my baby’s heartbeat?
What is fetal doppler? fetal doppler, also known as a fetal heart rate monitor, is a handheld ultrasound device used to detect a baby’s heartbeat during pregnancy. It uses high-frequency sound waves to pick up the heartbeat through the abdominal wall. Using a fetal doppler, expectant mothers can listen to and monitor their baby’s heart rate at home. Some key facts about fetal dopplers: • Doppler probes send and receive ultrasound waves which are reflected by the moving blood cells in the fetal heart and blood vessels. This is converted into the sound of the heartbeat we can hear. • Fetal dopplers are non-invasive and do not pose any risk when used properly according to guidelines. However, longer exposure times can potentially heat up tissues so monitoring sessions should be kept brief under 15-20 minutes. • A fetal doppler can detect a heartbeat as early as 10-12 weeks of pregnancy. Failure to detect a heartbeat at this stage does not necessarily indicate a problem as the position or size of the baby and placental position can make it more difficult to pick up. • A normal fetal heart rate is in the range of 120 to 160 beats per minute for expectant mothers. If there is a concern about the heart rate, consult your physician. • Fetal dopplers are intended for intermittent monitoring to provide reassurance between prenatal visits. They should not be used in place of medical care. Always talk to your doctor about any concerns. • Some fetal