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Should I buy a doppler?

(21 Posts)
Banana82 Tue 18-Feb-14 14:20:19

I am hoping you can talk some sense into me. I am 22+3 and am not 100% sure that what I am feeling is the baby moving. I feel very small ripples/bubbles quite low down on the side, particularly after eating or drinking something cold but they seem too far down to be the baby? They are also very random and not at all regular. My anomoly scan was fine and baby was kicking away nicely. I was told I have an anterior placenta so maybe this is why I am not feeling definite movements yet?

I am so so tempted to buy a doppler machine just to reassure myself that everything is ok. But I realise this might make it worse if I fail to find a heartbeat.

What are your thoughts? Does anyone have one and it provides them with the reassurance they need? I think if I knew for definite whether the things I am feeling is the baby moving I wouldn't be asking the question!

PinkFondantFancy Tue 18-Feb-14 14:23:06

No, don't buy one. Soon baby's movements will be much more recognisable. A Doppler will panic you if you can't find the heartbeat, and can give dangerous false reassurance if you do (very easy to mistakenly pick up mother's heart beat (midwife showed me how easily mistaken they are).

Fluffybastardcloudkittens Tue 18-Feb-14 14:41:07

I'd also say no. The movements will get stronger and it's likely that your anterior placenta is causing you to not feel a lot of your baby's movements.

MummytoMog Tue 18-Feb-14 15:04:06

I had one (also had an anterior placenta with my first pregnancy). I liked it. It's quite hard to mix up baby's heartbeat with mum's if you check your pulse rate to make sure that you're listening to the baby, and it is reassuring to my mind if you have one that isn't very active. I stopped using it after about thirty weeks, when she got big and kicky, but before that I checked every night before bed as my little bed time routine (DD hated the doppler and used to try and kick it off by the way, which was another reason to stop).

I also found it quite useful in my second pregnancy when DS stopped moving for a bit - I went into hospital anyway to be checked over of course, but it was nice to be able to find his heart beat before I went in. He was fine, just having a dopey day.

Mummymidwife87 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:30:56

Don't do it. It's not worth it.

You can easily get FHR and MHR mixed up when looking at an intrauterine death. MHR goes up and mimics FHR, and people often mistake placental blood flow for FHR.

ElBombero Tue 18-Feb-14 17:35:33

Against the grain but I had one but I am a HCP and can tell difference between mine and babies and recognise any common abnormalities. I got mine second hand off eBay, much cheaper

SweetPea86 Tue 18-Feb-14 17:46:18

I bought a cheap 20 pound one off amazon, because even now at 32 weeks I've never heard baby's heart beat. I have to say I found heartbeat easy. I do understand when people say no to one.

If you can't find heartbeat it might stress you out. What I did was when baby was kicking I would try it rather than if I felt no movement,

It is just nice whilst he kicked I could here his heart best.

I think it's up to you, but maybe using it if u can't feel any movement would be a bad idea.

I don't use it now I only used it around 20 to 25 weeks because like I said no midwife or at any scans did they let me listen to heart beat.

If your a very anxious person might not be best choice.
I think the best thing to do if your worrying about movement is ring u midwife and have a chat.

I didn't feel loads of movement till 27 weeks,
Before that it was irregular

PenguinsEatSpinach Tue 18-Feb-14 17:46:23

My opinion would be no.

Despite what people say (and not doubting that they were sure which was which) mix ups can and do occur and there have been tragic cases as a result.

You don't have the skills to interpret the results. See the threads on here which say 'should the heartbeat be doing X'.

Heartbeat is often the last sign of distress, so using it for reassurance isn't a great approach.

It can raise anxiety - once a week becomes every night, becomes panic 1 hour after checking (I have seen this happen to a friend. She became anxious about being away from her Doppler and took it to work with her).

The thing is, it can only tell you two things:

1. You can't find the heartbeat: but you won't know if that is your skill, position or what.

2. You can find the heartbeat: but see all the possible downsides above. And finding it should never override seeking medical advice with concerns.

The final, very speculative, one is that AFAIK there haven't been long term studies on daily type use of the technology. So if you're a 'don't do it unless it has been proved safe' type, that might be something to consider.

NancyJones Tue 18-Feb-14 18:39:25

Well I have one and find it very reassuring. I don't think its difficult to mistake mums HB for baby's HB. I'd be worrying if my HB was 150bpm. Mine is a proper medical grade type one that cost close to £200 and is very reliable. If I couldn't pick up a HB, I'd be worried and go straight in for monitoring.

NancyJones Tue 18-Feb-14 18:42:30

I agree with penguins though that it's not a substitute for a qualified opinion. If I wasn't picking up a regular HB in normal range for baby and/or had other concerns then I'd def seek qualified advice. So if baby wasn't moving as normal, I wouldn't be reassured by the HB alone. I'll call and ask to be seen.

NancyJones Tue 18-Feb-14 18:44:24

Oh I could see where the two HBs might get confused if it had no display telling you the bpm. I think some of the cheaper ones don't have a display.

Pinkandwhite Tue 18-Feb-14 18:49:51

I have one and it is giving me reassurance at the moment because its too early for me to feel the baby move (I'm 13 + 4). I think that as long as it doesn't stop you seeking medical advice if you're genuinely concerned and you can limit yourself to using it once or twice per week at most then there's no reason not to. I've read other people suggest that you treat it as a toy rather than as a piece of medical equipment and I think that's absolutely right.

PenguinsEatSpinach Tue 18-Feb-14 19:07:52

Pink - though the thing with that is that many people will find it hard to find the heartbeat until around the time they feel movement (there is a reason mw's in many areas have been told not to use dopplers until 16, or even 20, weeks). You have been incredibly lucky if you can hear it now - many MW's couldn't at your stage. I totally agree with you on 'for fun, not for diagnosis'.

My real concern with them is people using them instead of focusing on movement, which is a bigger indication of distress, or other indications of problems. For example, Nancy's first post worried me a bit - then she clarified that she wouldn't rely on heartbeat alone. Sadly some people do and I've read about at least one resulting tragic case sad

Pinkandwhite Tue 18-Feb-14 19:25:52

Hi penguins - yes I totally take your point. I think the only reason I have been able to find the heartbeat is because a midwife found it for me previously so I knew approximately where I would find it.

I do see what you're saying though and I can understand why people don't like them. I imagine I will stop using mine in a few weeks time when I can feel movement. For the time being its nice to be able to hear the heartbeat from time to time. I would be the first person at the hospital if I had any concerns.

MummytoMog Tue 18-Feb-14 21:33:06

I found my second child from 11 weeks, with a pretty cheap Doppler. Look near the pubic bone in early pregnancy and go slow. I also never relied on the read out but timed the HR myself, which was much more reliable. Again, I would be a bit worried if my heart rate was 145bpm. Although clearly being a terribly worry wart, I also have my own blood pressure monitor ;)

greentshirt Tue 18-Feb-14 21:46:59

I used one between about 10 and 16ish weeks, until I started feeling movements. I agree it's a bit of a toy but it also provided me with reassurance when I couldn't have sought it elsewhere. I had to go abroad 3 times in that period and obv as everything was fine had no reason to believe otherwise but I couldn't help but worry so the Doppler was useful then. I did put it into perspective though, if I ever couldn't find the heartbeat I left it a few hours before trying again and I wouldn't have gone to hospital if I couldn't find it as at that stage it's not reliable enough, I would have put it down to my own lack of skill with the machine.

Movement trumps heartbeat every time and in your situ op it will be any minute really when you start feeling it so not worth getting at this point IMO.

Banana82 Wed 19-Feb-14 09:46:45

Thank you for all your replies! I think I am just worried something is wrong as I am yet to feel definite movements and just want some reassurance my baby is still alive and kicking, I just can't feel it yet! I am not due to see my midwife for another 3 weeks which seems like an age away!

I think having slept on it I have decided against getting one. Like mentioned above, and by my friends in real life, movements should be becoming obvious soon so I am just going to have to wait it out and have faith everything is ok.

HazleNutt Wed 19-Feb-14 09:54:27

I agree with people who say "don't". I did, but there were many times I could not find the heartbeat and panicked - more times than I was reassured by finding it.

MummytoMog Wed 19-Feb-14 14:38:33

or you could go have a scan at babybond Very sensible, drink some cold orange juice and see if you get kicked smile

impatientlywaiting Wed 19-Feb-14 14:49:43

If you were much earlier I would say to get one. But by the time it arrives you'll probably be feeling movements regularly.

I bought a doppler at 11 weeks, found the HB from that point, took a while at 11-13 weeks, then I found it very easy to find.

It was my first pregnancy and I found it really reassuring. Felt definite kicks from 21+4 (have an anterior placenta too) and from that point I haven't used my doppler once, as baby is always kicking away. If I had a reduction in movement I would want to get checked out by midwifes at this point, even if I knew there was still a HB so I don't think I'll be using it anymore now. I'm 30 weeks today.

Nomorepeppapig Wed 19-Feb-14 14:55:59

I love mine! Haven't used it that much this time but with my first pregnancy I used it every few weeks. Love hearing my babies heart beat inside me!
Last week I hadn't felt the baby move for a few days, I'm only 19 weeks so wasn't to worried but had a listen and there it was, I found it right away. Made me feel so much better.

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