To Doppler or Not? 

Okay ladies! I would like to get your thoughts on purchasing a doppler in a few weeks. Its still too early now for me (Im 8w1d), but I am thinking ahead a bit.

I know some of you absolutely love them for peace of mind, but then I have read about how some of you have worried even more with one because you cant find a heartbeat. 

Here are my questions for those of you who have used at home dopplers-

  • How far along were you when you were able to consistently locate the heartbeat? I really dont want to use one before that time frame and increase my anxiety by not hearing a heartbeat. 
  • What doppler brand did you use and recommend? 
  • Are there instructions on how to use these dopplers? If not, share your secrets on how please. 

Of course, tell me anything else I should know about this topic. Im currently very torn on getting one or not! Thank you in advance. 

23 thoughts on “To Doppler or Not? 

  1. I got one after my 15w5d appt. Just tried it this past Tuesday (16w3d) and found the HB easily twice that day. Then tried again Thursday and really struggled but I think I got it briefly twice. Struggled again on Friday but also think I got it. If I was having an easier time finding it I would totally be into in but honestly it’s just stressing me out. I’d say if you have a good OB who will let you come in for HB checks just do that. It’s not worth the headache and I’m feeling anxious about my next cervix check this Thursday because of it. Also, I purposely waited until 16 weeks because I thought it would be easier to find…not true in my case.

    If you do get it let me know as I found a good website that has the different sounds you will hear. Very helpful, and better than the you tube videos.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I got one with my first pregnancy, and have been able to use it for this pregnancy.
    I first found the heartbeat at 9w3d, and now at 11w3d I can find it most days. I’m actually just about to have a look for it now.
    It does worry me when I can’t find it, but I’ve decided for me it’s worth it. The reassurance when I do find it is priceless. My last scan was at 8w6d, and I know if it wasn’t for my doppler I’d be wondering if I’d lost the baby at 9 weeks and just didn’t know, and would have been terrified going to my 12 week scan.
    Tips- full bladder, and start very low. Watch videos on youtube of people using the doppler early and listen to the different sounds.
    I have an “Angel Sounds” but in hindsight I’d have got a Sonoline B.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I got one and I absolutely love it! This is the one I got: I was worried that it would make me more anxious but it has completely eased my mind. I got it when I was 11 weeks and was able to find the heartbeat within minutes. I watched a few YouTube videos on people demonstrating how to do it and I just really took my time, moved it slow and really listened. He was way far down and since I am a bigger girl, I had to kind of arch my back a bit to get to him. Every time since I have found him in seconds. It is really cool to hear him kick too. There has never once been a time where I struggled to find it. It has been helpful especially since the ER nurse didn’t know what she was doing and couldn’t find his heartbeat. I got home and immediately found it. I love the peace of mind and being able to hear him anytime I want. He also moves more when I use it now so I can feel him kicking away from it!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband and doctor are completely against it, because they said it will be more likely a source of stress and anxiety. However, I really want one, but I’m respecting my doctor’s opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I got one when I was pregnant with Luke and found his heartbeat at 9.5 weeks. It was great throughout the pregnancy for peace of mind and to determine positioning. I’ve used it twice with this pregnancy so far and found baby L’s heartbeat once.

    I have the sonoline b that I got for $30 from eBay. One thing that is a lot cheaper is using aloe Vera gel rather than ultrasound gel. It does the same thing but is a fraction of the cost.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I waited until I was more than 15 weeks because I figured at that point, I would always be able to find the HB. I was wrong. I loved having it and hearing the heartbeat, but it did stress me out, even into my 2nd trimester. My second baby had an anterior placenta, which stopped me from feeling movements sooner than normal… So finding the heartbeat helped. But I would definitely not recommend using it until you are well into the second trimester, for peace of mind issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I never got one as I figured it would stress me out more than help. God forbid I couldn’t find it one day in the early days. Instead, I asked my OB if I could have more frequent prenatal visits. I settled on going every two weeks, but she would have been cool with it if I wanted to go every week. It was very reassuring–maybe your on will let you come in more often too?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I had a phone call from a client on Friday in pieces because the heartbeat was such a low rate, reality is they were trying too early to find it and we’re listening to mums pulse instead. There are also all the horror stories of people using them in late pregnancy for reassurance when babys not moving properly and being falsely reassured because they hear something, but placental noises or mums pulse could be heard instead and even if you did hear baby how would you know the hr was ok or not? I’m not sure they’re the best idea xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I got mine from the same link Maybe Baby shared above. With my first pregnancy I found her about 16 weeks and having it was a constance source of reassurance. I’m currently 14 weeks with #2 and I haven’t found baby yet, but I’ve only tried a couple mins. I don’t allow myself to become stressed over it since my Dr appts have been just fine. I also second using aloe Vera gel. I watched YouTube for the location in needed to search and that helped.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I could not have lived without mine. After four losses including one at 12 weeks (and after multiple ultrasounds) I needed to be able to reassure myself and not run into the drs every time I panicked. We did not try to use ours until after I graduated from the RE at 12 weeks and then we tried to use it only once a week to reassure ourselves. I did find that once baby started moving I used it a whole lot less. I ended up with weekly ultrasounds and NSTs after 26 weeks so it became less needed towards the end for that reason too. I had the Sonoline B as well.

    We tried aloe vera and while it worked I found the the actual ultrasound gel worked better. Husband and I did make a few rules that I could not ever try to use it alone to avoid irrational panic and we also agreed before hand that if we couldn’t find it after a few minutes we would take a break and calm down and try again. My husband is a firefighter/paramedic and does some part time work at a radiology center but he also watched a few youtube videos to help him figure it out at first.

    We never had a problem finding it and since I had some issues with decreased movement towards the end it really put my mind at ease. I can totally see where it would stress some people out and I think the big thing is knowing what you and your husband are comfortable with and going with that : )

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I used one starting at 10 weeks, but only AFTER my OB found the heartbeat with the office doppler. Even then, for a few weeks at least, it took a long time to find the heartbeat each time. And those 5-10 minutes were SCARY. But I kept at it, and it was worth it for peace of mind. It was a daily ritual. I would listen first thing in the morning, and sometimes in the evening, but always in the morning. It was like my daily reminder that I was in fact pregnant, and not just dreaming it. I stopped using it once I could feel baby moving on a regular basis.

    I used Sonoline B, which I find is the most recommended. I wouldn’t use it before your OB or midwife has already found the heartbeat, but keep in mind that before 14 weeks, it can be touch and go. Some days you might find it right away, other days it may take a while. There’s a lot of background noise, like your own heartbeat, the placenta, and bowel, but you’ll eventually be able to ignore that stuff. Also, if you have an anterior placenta, it can be harder to find the heartbeat, so keep that in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I might be too late commenting. I’m not going to advise but just tell you my story.

    My husband and I are both trained to use dopplers at work. I use them to check breast tissue after skin grafts post cancer. I also use them on major burns to check circulation to the body. He uses them on his coronary patients for vascular reasons.

    After my two losses I was a mess. I had such bad anxiety (my therapist calls it tricky brain, we go into over drive trying to protect out babies and to protect ourselves.)

    At 9 weeks (gestation of my two losses) I called in to work and said I wouldn’t be back for a while due to my anxiety and minor bleeds and everything else. At ten pm I found a sale post for a Doppler and we went and bought it. Poor woman was ready for bed but I begged her.

    I wish I was kinder to myself but on the rainy horrible night I was just so abusive to myself. Telling myself I was crazy. Making it worse. We got home with the Doppler and Sean looked for the heartbeat. We found it.

    I stayed off work until 15 weeks and every single day I listened to the heart beat. My doctor, midwife and friends all asked me to stop but it was what I needed to cope. It was that or a full break down. I listened once a day at 9pm. We found it, listened for one minute exactly and then put it away.

    I will tell you – you are only reassured for the time you are listening. The heart could have stopped at 11pm. Or 3pm before I listened again. But luckily it never did.

    At 15 weeks I went back to work and continued to listen daily. At 16 weeks I had our gender scan and felt my first movement. After feeling that movement, I vowed to not listen again because too many women listen for reassurance for reduced movements and then the baby dies.

    I am trained to listen to dopplers. I am not trained to know abnormalities in a babies heartbeat. I can identify it, yes, but I can’t tell if my baby is in distresss. Trained staff can.

    So if you use one. Do not use is if you have reduced movements, I know of one story I follow where a woman thought baby wasn’t moving much. Heard the hb so was reassured and the next day her baby died. If she had gone in instead, they could have got baby out safely but she thought heartbeat ,= healthy.

    My Doppler is packed away now. I used it once for fun recently but other than that, his kicks are now enough for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used a doppler with my twin pregnancy. They were born 7 days ago. First found heartbeat at 9 weeks, found second heartbeat at 10.5 weeks. Most days I could find at least one and sometimes two. By mid pregnancy i could always find two. I loved the doppler and it did not ever stress me. I only used it once a day. I learned how from YouTube videos. I bought a reputable doppler with lcd display so I could see the heartrate.

      I think a doppler is a life saver if you just have a normal amount of fear, are a practical person and ensure that you do not use it to replace medical advice – for instance if you have reduced movement. Knowing that my babies were alive between scans was a source of comfort for me, and being able to check the morning of a scan reduced my anxiety that the scan would go badly.

      I would not recommend a doppler for anyone with extreme anxiety or obsessiveness. It could make it worse.

      Liked by 1 person

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