The sound of your baby's heartbeat is pretty amazing, and the first time you hear it is a moment you will never forget. It's easy to crave the sound of that lifeline to your little one while you're still pregnant, but should you get a home Doppler? These devices are easy to come by and fairly affordable as well, leading many women to add one to their online shopping cart as they browse the endless baby items available. But before you click purchase on your next order, you'll want to consider the accuracy and potential risks associated with home Dopplers.
One reason you can hear your baby's heartbeat so clearly at the doctor's office is because the equipment professionals use is top of the line technology. Home Dopplers are not as strong as those doctors use, as What To Expect's website pointed out. This means, it's more difficult for that tiny little heart beat to be detected. For some expectant mamas, that sound of silence can bring on unnecessary worry and panic. Just because you can't hear a heartbeat with home Doppler, doesn't mean there's anything wrong. Something as simple as the way the baby is positioned could be effecting your at home reading.
"A Doppler probe sends out high-frequency sound waves that pass through your skin and tissue and into your baby," Baby Center explained. "When the waves encounter movement, such as your baby's heart beating, they bounce back to the device." Since there is no testing that proves the dangers of repeatedly exposing a fetus to these type of wavelengths, it's up to you whether or not you're willing to use one of these devices at home.
Although there may not be evidence proving home Dopplers unsafe, in order to make an informed decision, it's important to consider both sides of the argument. According to the website for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), using a Doppler without professional training or overuse of this device can increase potential risks for both mother and baby. One of the known risks is the ability of ultrasound to heat tissue, and sometimes cause small bubbles in bodily tissue, according to the website for What To Expect.
Knowing all the facts will help you determine if buying a home Doppler is right for you. If you choose to pass, you'll have all those doctor appointments to look forward to hearing your little one's heartbeat. But if you choose to buy your own device, make sure to follow the directions and speak with your health care provider for best at home practices.