Would you like to be a member of our research panel? Join here - there's (nearly) always a great incentive offered for your views.

No heartbeat on home Doppler, anyone else struggled to find a heartbeat

(21 Posts)
PickleSarnie Sun 07-Apr-13 21:39:06

By the tine that you are able to reliably pick up a heartbeat on a doppler, you'll probably be feeling regular movement. Thus negating the need for a doppler. I can't see then causing anything but undue stress.

I found my baby for the first time this pregnancy tonight at 8+1 and I've found it around then each time. My gp found it last pregnancy at 12 weeks. I need to hear something but never rely on them if I'm concerned. My daughter was still born 2 years ago and even if I have no concerns sometimes I just needed to hear my baby last time.
I'm paranoid, for obvious reasons. It's really easy to miss though this early on.

I don't mean to be rude but MWs train for 3 years. They have the expertise in interpreting dopplers. You don't. I'm a student MW and even the MW I have been training with (20 years experience) wouldn't attempt to find a heartbeat at 11 weeks. As a previous poster said, NICE guidelines now recommend that MW don't try and listen in at the 16 week appointment as even then it can be hit and miss.

Please don't worry, just look forward to your scan smile

honey86 Sun 07-Apr-13 21:04:27

oh when, im 10+1 today, my doppler is a hi bebe one. all ive managed to get is what i think might be placenta sounds, like fast wind through trees kinda sound. i have a feeling i have an anterior placenta... it picks up my heartbeat a treat, but no fetal sounds yet... my midwifes the same. never checks the hb til at least 16 weeks xx

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Sun 07-Apr-13 20:08:23

Thanks again for the responses. I bought it thinking it would be useful in late pregnancy. When pregnant with dd I had massive braxton hicks from week 34/35. I couldn't feel the baby move at all for hours at a time from 36 weeks onwards.

Will have to do a lot of research on fetal heart rate to try and guesstimate whether foetus is ok or not. Shouldn't be too hard to tell the difference between my heart rate and its (mine = 70 bpm, foetus will be at least over 120).

Cavort Sun 07-Apr-13 11:34:41

I used a home Doppler from about 13 weeks and could pick up the heartbeat about 60% of the time at that point. I could always hear the placenta 'beating' so you have to be careful to differentiate between the two different sounds. The heartbeat sounds like a galloping horse and or a train over the tracks, whereas the placenta is more of a fast whooshing sound. FWIW my MW said she thought the only reason I could detect it so early is because I have had very little abdominal fat.

atrcts Sat 06-Apr-13 22:59:39

Please be really careful relying on home dopplers - there have been cases where people used them for reassurance when the baby moves less, and THINK they've got the foetal heartbeat which gives them false sense of security as it is actually maternal heartbeat instead. Always seek medical advice if you feel the need to use a Doppler for any concerns

lucybrad Sat 06-Apr-13 20:07:20

I think it can help between first scan and first feeling movement - IF you can pick up the heart beat. Mine is an angel sounds and they are very very good. I could hear mine from 10 weeks BUT sometimes I cant find it and DH has to take over - we find it in the end. At this early stage it is suprisingly low (i mean really really low in the abdomen). If your placenta is in the way though that will cause you a problem. Also dont mistake your beat from theirs.

MammaCici Sat 06-Apr-13 19:31:46

Heavywheezing, It's all very well listening if you are a gp or midwife, but untrained ears such as most of ours wouldn't notice if the heartbeat didn't sound right. I read a horrible story about a mum who was concerned that her baby was moving less. But instead of seeing her doctor she pulled out her doppler and reassured herself when she picked up the baby's hb. Tragically she didn't know what a distressed heartbeat sounded like and didn't get the help she needed. Anyhow, the lesson here is if something doesn't feel right seek medical attention. A home doppler is for entertainment only, not self diagnosis.

RubyrooUK Sat 06-Apr-13 19:22:00

Oh and just to add that my midwife wouldn't even check heartbeat at my 16wk appointment as she said there were too many parents panicked by midwives being unable to pick it up due to the baby's position. So some don't even listen to the heartbeat regularly until after 20wks.

So don't panic. Sounds like a good plan to wait for the scan and hopefully everything will be going well.

Heavywheezing Sat 06-Apr-13 19:21:18

No, I disagree that you need one.
Although not at 11 weeks. It's difficult to find a heartbeat at 36 weeks unless you know where you are looking or hearing!

I say that you could need one, is because my sil is a gp and she told me to get one.

She took hers home from work, to listen to her baby and noticed that the baby's hear rate had changed.

Went and had a scan and the baby was delivered later that day.

The shop ones are rubbish though, you might get a better one from ebay like our midwife will use. Eventually.

If you are worried you should always see your mw though.

Oh when!! I can totally understand why you got one as I did too this pregnancy I think like everyone says can depend where placenta is so until scan you won't be sure it's not anterior in witch case there's no way you'll hear it, it took me over half an hour to find mine first time and I was getting more and more panicked, it was very very low and to the right like just above pubic hair line and I had to do it quite firm and slow, once I found it it was in the same place for months but don't worry if you can't especially so close to 12wk scan x

MammaCici Sat 06-Apr-13 16:38:02

I'm 36 weeks and I've never been able to find baby's hb with my home doppler. My placenta is at the front so all I can pick up is my own hb - if I'm lucky. Midwife was able to get baby's no problem though. My doppler must be to blame. eBay. But my baby doesn't like the doppler, he/she gets aggitated so I stopped trying. In a few more weeks you'll feel the movements and you won't feel the need to check up on baby with a doppler so much.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Sat 06-Apr-13 16:19:20

Wow that was quick. Thanks all feeling reassured.

I have quite a flat stomach weight likes to settle on my big cellulite ridden arse and thighs grin so was hoping to hear something.

Booked in for a nuchael trans scan next Sat so I think I will listen to your advice and hide the thing till then. Thanks.

Signet2012 Sat 06-Apr-13 16:01:37

I couldn't get a heart beat on mine ever. Not even at 38 weeks!! My placenta was at the front and it meant I couldn't hear anything past it.

phantomhairpuller Sat 06-Apr-13 16:00:58

What Babs said. They're a waste of money and cause unnecessary worry. Like now.

Bunnychan Sat 06-Apr-13 16:00:12

Yes- I had to do it first thing in the morning, before I had a wee and had go really low x

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Sat 06-Apr-13 15:59:33

What double said. The midwife wont even try till 16wks! Your bought doppler prob isnt medical.grade either.

And without sounding rude it can depend on your size, the heartbeat can be hard to find early on if you are larger build.

BabsAndTheRu Sat 06-Apr-13 15:59:07

The midwives find it hard to find a heartbeat at times and you are only 11 weeks for goodness sake, I'd think it would be impossible to find by yourself. Take the Doppler back, you don't need one and will just worry anytime like this you can't locate the heartbeat. Totally unnessessary piece of equipment.

DoubleTops Sat 06-Apr-13 15:57:24

No please do not be worried, it took me ages to find early on. Your midwife would not try now, i think mine first listened at 16 weeks appointment.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHopeful Sat 06-Apr-13 15:54:34

Says it all in the title really. I'm almost 11 weeks and have rather optimistically bought a home Doppler.

I can't find a heartbeat at all, should I be getting worried?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now