Fetal Doppler: How to use the device and its benefits
Fetal Doppler is an at-home medical device which is used to hear a child’s heartbeat during the pre-natal stage. It has a probe which is moved over the pregnant woman’s stomach and the heartbeat of the baby can be heard through headphones connected to the device. Some models of the battery-powered appliance come with LCD screens which show the heart rate.
The equipment’s technology is based on the “Doppler effect.” It was created by an Australian physicist and mathematician, Christian Doppler. The device’s probe sends ultrasound waves into the lower belly which are then reflected back by the fetal heart. The appliance detects the frequency change, which is later transformed into sound.
How to use a Fetal Doppler?
Before using the device, specific supplies are required, which are as follows:
- The appropriate device: It’s important to choose the right type of Fetal Doppler. Some models come with earphones while others have LCD screens. Also, ensure that the device is fitted with a battery before using it.
- Ultrasound gel: This is the best solution for reducing static sound. The lesser the static sound, the clearer one can hear the heartbeat.
- An appropriate place to lie down: Device usage becomes easier when the person lies down. Beds, sofas, or floor mats, are some of the preferred places for the patient to lie down.
- Towels/Tissues: You can use them to clean the ultrasound gel after the process is over.
Following are the steps for using the equipment:
- The patient must lie down with the back placed on a flat area. Expose the abdomen in a similar way as it is done during a regular ultrasound procedure.
- Apply the right amount of ultrasound gel on the lower belly as more gel will help hear the heartbeat clearer.
- Put the probe in the ultrasound gel and turn on the device.
- From the pubic bone, mildly move the probe upwards towards the belly button. Move the probe all over the stomach until the fetus is found.
- When heartbeat sounds are heard in the earphones, and the LCD screen shows a heartbeat per minute (BPM) of over 120, the fetus is likely found.
- If the fetus is not found for some minutes, turn off the device. Attempt the process another time.
- After the process completion, clean the probe with 70%ethanol and then air dry it. It can also be cleaned using a clean, dry cloth.
- Do not douse the appliance in water or wipe it with cleaning chemicals.
Benefits of using a Fetal Doppler:
- First-time mothers or women with a history of miscarriage feel highly stressed about the health of their baby and chronic stress can affect the health of the fetus too. Therefore, women can use the appliance to check the health of their child anytime and reduce their stress.
- In the case of high-risk pregnancies, the device can spot the problems beforehand. This way women can visit doctors and avoid fatal consequences.
- Fetal dopplers allow mothers to have a personal bonding experience with their children. Using this device, mothers, partners, friends, and families, can connect with the baby.