Advanced search

Pregnant? See how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.

Help finding the heartbeat on a doppler

(20 Posts)
Pollyparanoia Mon 15-May-06 16:02:40

Hello, a friend's just lent me her "Babypulse" doppler. I'm 12 weeks and it was supposed to be reassuring, but I can't find the dratted heartbeat. I think I've got the placental blood flow (whooshing, waves, about 80 per minute), but I can't find a galloping quick thing at all. And then I'm wondering, have I found it but am i only counting every other beat (ie is does it alternate between loud beat and quiet beat). Does at least finding the placental blood pulsey thing mean that everything's OK?
Any tips - I'm trying quite low down. Better full or empty bladder?

SomethingAboutMary Mon 15-May-06 16:04:17

i had a doppler when i was pg with dd, i also got the noise you are listening to & no that is not ur babys heart beat. Feel for the top of your pubic bone & your baby should be around this area i was searching way to high

NatalieJane Mon 15-May-06 16:05:40

No tips except read the instuctions if you have them, I thought these ones you could buy for home use were only supposed to be any good after about 24 weeks or some such?

NatalieJane Mon 15-May-06 16:06:41

Also meant to say, some midwives have problems finding heartbeats at 12 weeks, so don't worry too much if you don't find it.

SomethingAboutMary Mon 15-May-06 16:07:32

Not sure which doppler you have, is it the same as what the midwives use? if so then no you can pick up babys heart beat anything from 12 weeks they say on the instructions.

Pollyparanoia Mon 15-May-06 16:13:18

I think it's the same as the one the midwives use. My GP found a heart beat about 10 days ago with something similar plus I've had a baby already so I should know what to listen for but it's all a bit confusing. There's probably a good reason why these things are better used by the professionals...

usandbump Mon 15-May-06 16:21:43

I too used a doppler on myself and was scared witless several times when I couldn't find the heartbeat and I was further into my pregancy, in the end I didn't use it until further on in my pregnancy for fun and not reassurance. In fact I once got myself in such a state I went to the surgery there and then and asked the midwife to listen
I googled Babypulse and it says position doppler low down ensuring complete connection with the skin, use plenty of gel and move it very slowly or you may well miss the heartbeat. It recommends you be laying down too. You may think you hear it and then find it has gone and have to move doppler again.
But please don't panic as someone has already said some midwives don't like to listen for heartbeat at this stage.

Pollyparanoia Mon 15-May-06 16:32:32

hello usandbump, did smile at you going down to the surgery as that's exactly what crossed my mind too. I have actually got my 12 week scan tomorrow so what am doing scaring myself like this?!
thanks so much for sharing your similar experience. Friend who lent it to me said it was easy peasy to find hb...

ktjrv Mon 15-May-06 16:33:39

Please don't panic, it is probably too early, I bought a doppler and gave up trying to find a heartbeat at 12 weeks and I have sent the thing back as it was giving me so much worry.

I had a scan and everything is ok, baby very active, but she did say I had a slightly tilted uterus so thats why I couldn't hear anything.

Most midwives won't even listen until 16 weeks.


Pollyparanoia Mon 15-May-06 16:37:58

ooo interesting - at the scan for my miscarriage (in Nov - hence fannying around with dopplers and being hyper neurotic), they told me I had a tilted uterus too. Not slightly either, but whooo look at that tilted. Had to try all sorts of interesting positions to get pregnant this time round...

ktjrv Mon 15-May-06 16:40:27

Thats most likely why you can't hear the baby then, it is probably tucked right away.

I was told a tilted uterus wouldn't cause problems TTC but it took me over a year.


whiffy Mon 15-May-06 17:12:03

I used a doppler from about 16 weeks and found it really low down (near my hair line) and for the early weeks it was way over to the right and not central at all - in fact I couldn't believe it could be where I picked it up (but it was - it has now moved across to more sensible spot).

Also for first few weeks I had to push down quite hard and have abit of a poke round to find it.

LeahE Mon 15-May-06 17:19:00

It took me until about 13-14 weeks before I could hear it. Start quite low, push quite hard, move very slowly and don't slide areound too much (more just change the angle as if it were a torch and you were trying to illuminate the dark corners). It's not at all unusual not to be able to find it yourself on a doppler at 12 weeks, though.

elizabuff Mon 15-May-06 18:45:04

Honestly Pollyparanoia, don't worry about it. I got one of those but not until about 20 weeks and then mainly for fun as I could already feel the baby moving. I know my mw wouldn't check for hb with a doppler till 20 weeks. This might be nonsense but I think I've also heard that it depends on how well padded you are to start with as well as to whether or not you'll get a clear sound early on. I think it would just have made me hyper paranoid if I had had mine any earlier - my previous pregnancy was also an mc at 13 weeks and I was so paranoid anyway this time (absolutely convinced it was doomed) that I would have been a wreck I think! Have to say it was really nice to listen to her wriggling about later on, but if I were you I'd give it back to your friend for now so that you aren't tempted to have another go (I'm sure everything will be fine at your scan tomorrow) and ask for it back later on so you can enjoy it without being scared shitless. I got an adaptor for my computer and recorded the sound of my baby's hb and kicks at about 28 weeks so that I can keep it and remember the bits about being pregnant that I actually enjoyed! Certainly don't need the doppler now - only 3 weeks to go and I can see her sticking elbows and knees out all the time anyway.

Good luck for tomorrow

foxinsocks Mon 15-May-06 18:47:30

my uterus is retroverted (is this the same as tilted?) and both pregnancies, we didn't hear the heartbeat for ages.

pucca Mon 15-May-06 18:48:00

You need to be pointing it really really low down, as in just above and on your pelvic bone..try both sides of stomach, i struggled at first but kept trying and found it eventually (now 26 wks).

Also lie on the bed and try and raise your bum with a pillow, and also might be a bit easier if you have a full bladder.


foxinsocks Mon 15-May-06 18:50:03

when I mean 'we didn't hear' I meant the midwife doing the doppler thing so it's probably even harder when you do it yourself

Pollyparanoia Mon 15-May-06 19:24:28

Ahh thanks for all your reassurance. I actually did have another go (but then I'm going to give it to my husband to take to his office as otherwise I can see an addiction starting) and did hear it. Well I think so anyway, and it was really really low down. Bizarre thought.
Observer article yesterday said that pregnancies are so much longer these days due to modern technology. Completely agree - what with hpt at 4 weeks, early scan (in my case), home doppler thingies - can't help feeling I should take a more old-fashioned attitude and ignore the whole thing until proper showing of bump (as opposed to present gut).
thanks so much again
Paranoid by name and nature

twocatsonthebed Mon 15-May-06 22:17:38

I had my 16 week scan today, and the consultant (natch!) found it hard to find the heartbeat, and said that it might also be because the placenta is at the front (so all you hear is the blood flow in that).

But I know exactly what you mean - I had a miscarriage last year too, and even at my scan today I am still expecting them to tell me that it's all a joke. But why not come and join us on the pregnancy after miscarriage thread, where we all worry together. Good luck tomorrow!

Pollyparanoia Wed 17-May-06 14:58:46

Hello all, just to say thanks so much again and the scan was absolutely fine including nuchal and all that and I can finally concede that I am indeed pregnant. No more blooming doppler for me though, not for a good few weeks.
TwoCats, I will indeed join you on the pam board - where you must let me know how your hunt for a wedding dress goes.

Join the discussion

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

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: