The most precious thing to every mother is her children. Even before
they are born a mother worries constantly that her baby is ok, healthy,
and happy. Fetal dopplers can provide assurance that the baby is
healthy and prospering as they should be. They are a non-invasive way
to monitor the baby's heart beat which can be an extremely effective way
to monitor baby's health while still inside the womb.
Fetal dopplers are the most commonly used type of heart beat monitor.
Other methods of monitoring pose a risk to the baby. There is no risk
with a doppler because it is used outside the womb only. There is no
discomfort and the doppler is very easy to use. They are so easy to use
that the hand held fetal doppler can be purchased inexpensively for
home use as well. It can be used at home anytime you need to check on
baby, especially if the pregnancy is high-risk. It is worth the peace
of mind it can bring.
Sound from inside the womb is sent through ultrasonic waves which are
picked up by the hand held fetal doppler and transmitted through a
speaker on the doppler. A special gel is placed on the mother's abdomen
which keeps static and any noise from outside the womb to a minimum.
The gel also helps to protect the end of the doppler. The probe is
moved around the abdomen until the heart beat is found and a heart rate
can be calculated. The average range for a fetus heart rate is 120 to
180 beats per minute. As the baby moves the heart rate will increase.
When the baby is sleeping the heart rate will be slow. The range is so
wide for normal that it will take a few visits to determine what is
normal for your baby. By determining the normal heart rate of your
particular baby, it can be used to monitor the baby's health more
accurately. If your baby is normally on the high end of the range and
is all of the sudden on the low range (or vice versa) it could be an
indicator there is a problem.
The probes of a hand held fetal doppler come in 2 MHz and 3 MHz. 3 MHz
probes are more effective for the majority of pregnant women.
Occasionally if the mother is very obese the 2 MHz probe may work best.
The higher frequency probe has a shorter wavelength which may not reach
the fetus in a very overweight woman. Fetal dopplers are very helpful
and are an important monitor used in pregnancy.