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best cheap fetal Doppler?

(25 Posts)
Jw35 Thu 25-Feb-16 14:54:54

I'm 17 weeks. I've borrowed one from a friend and it's useless. It just says 'summer' on the front, not sure which brand but all I can hear is the sea! grin
Any suggestions of a good cheapish one? Thanks

Junosmum Thu 25-Feb-16 15:23:19

Don't get one! They are a bad idea. It's very hard to pick up a heartbeat with them, especially at your gestation. Your friends is probably fine but a)you don't know where to place it b) you don't know what you are listening for, c) you don't know if the hb is right or if something is wrong and d) they often don't work very well until 20something weeks, by which time you'll be feeling baby move, which is a much better reassurance they are ok!

Whatdoidohelp Thu 25-Feb-16 15:37:02

Agree with above. They are dangerous to the untrained user. There have been incidences when a user thought she was hearing the babies heart beat so didn't bother going to triage with reduced movements. She wasn't hearing the babies heart beat. The baby was dead.

Whosthemummy16 Thu 25-Feb-16 15:43:16

I had a Doppler, it was called ana wiz. We just used to listen to the babies heartbeat every Sunday, not for reassurance but just because we found it to be a lovely bonding experience.
I'm sure you already know but always get reduced movements looked at rather than using Doppler as peace of mind smile

CatchingBabies Thu 25-Feb-16 15:56:01

I always ask women, if you saw someone collapsed on the floor would you check for a pulse and then walk away?

That's exactly what you are doing to your baby if using a Doppler to ensure all is ok. A heartbeat only tells you the baby is alive at that moment in time (if you're every listening to the right thing).

It's too late to seek help once the heartbeat has stopped. I really wish they would ban the public sales of dopplers. Too many heartbroken families.

Can you imagine buying your own ECG and checking your heart or giving yourself a quick x-Ray? There is no difference! Midwives are trained to recognise any deviations from normal and act on them, members of the public are not.

BooptheHoop Thu 25-Feb-16 19:55:48

Agree with above. Unfortunately it seems a high percentage of women on the Antenatal threads seem to have them, the fact of which encourage others to get one.

Jw35 Thu 25-Feb-16 20:24:53

I'm quite surprised by these reactions! It's not to check the baby is alive! I wouldn't have liked to hear the heartbeat that's all. Just for fun I suppose confused

BunchOfBobs Thu 25-Feb-16 21:23:24

Jw ignore the Doppler police. I have this one and it's easy to use. I'm 15 weeks and manage to pick up the heart beat everytime.
What I would recommend is you watch some videos on you tube to make sure you can differentiate between the placenta and baby's heartbeat. Don't panic if you don't pick up a heart beat and NEVER use it in place of seeking medical attention.
I do it for fun just to listen to LOs heartbeat. It's lovely. Yes people are stupid and use them when they have reduced movements. But most people have common sense. Just use yours and enjoy smile

Runner05 Thu 25-Feb-16 21:51:55

I've got an Anapulse 500. Not for reassurance, just for the fun of it. I never understand the crowd who go on about them being dangerous etc. as you'd have to be pretty clueless to use one instead of seeking medical attention.

As for not being able to pick up the baby. I'm 13+5 and have been using it for a week. I've never failed to pick up my babies pulse loud and clear within seconds.
You should definitely watch a couple of YouTube videos first so you know how to find the baby and what you're hearing as there are a couple of sounds that you could mistake for the baby but other than that, go for it grin

KnitsBakesAndReads Thu 25-Feb-16 22:24:29

I don't think the problem is people consciously using them as an alternative to seeking medical attention.

However, if you look through this discussion board you'll see there are loads of threads from people saying they have reduced or changed movements and they're not sure whether to get it checked out. That seems to suggest to me that lots of pregnant women feel a bit uncertain about when it's necessary to get medical attention and often worry that they'll be wasting a midwife's time if they go in for monitoring. This might mean that if you're worried about reduced movements but are unsure whether to get it checked then hearing what you think is the baby's heartbeat could be the thing that makes you decide you'd be wasting a midwife's time if you went in to be checked.

It's not so much that people would make a conscious decision not to seek medical attention if they can hear the heartbeat but rather that it might just make them a little more likely to believe that little hint of self-doubt that makes them think they'd be wasting someone's time if they did get it checked out. And obviously the consequences of that could be very serious.

CatchingBabies Thu 25-Feb-16 22:55:04

Runner - at 13 weeks are you sure your finding the heartbeat and no listening your heartbeat / umbilical cord / placenta? It's quite difficult to find at that gestation.

Stom91 Thu 25-Feb-16 23:09:13

I have one from Amazon called angelsounds.
I use it because I like listening to baby's heart beat.

Jw35 Thu 25-Feb-16 23:10:01

Thanks for your replies. I understand the concern over using a Doppler for reassurance. I would always get checked out if I had reduced movement, at the moment the movements aren't obvious or regular. I wanted to hear the baby just for fun.

gamerchick Thu 25-Feb-16 23:14:27

runner you are not hearing your babies heartbeat at 13 weeks.

Dopplers are not a bit of fun and shouldn't be used unless you're trained.

Runningupthathill82 Fri 26-Feb-16 03:16:50

What Gamer said. Midwives done even try to pick up the heartbeat until 16 weeks. I seriously doubt that someone untrained could do it far earlier.

And ffs, this sort of stuff is medical equipment,not for "fun." Dopplers can cause worry and also provide false reassurance. What's fun about that?

ICJump Fri 26-Feb-16 04:27:23

It took my very experienced midwife over 5 minutes to find DS heartbeat at 20 weeks. I was getting pretty upset by then too.

Doppler aldi carry some risks. We don't fully understand these risks. But they aren't a fun toy.

ICJump Fri 26-Feb-16 04:33:38

Here are a couple of links that are worth reading before buying

Champagneformyrealfriends Fri 26-Feb-16 06:19:58

I was going to buy one earlier in my pregnancy until my mum and duster pointed out that, should I not be able to find the heartbeat (it is very very difficult for an untrained person go find it-you're usually listening to your placenta), I would panic and it would cause me way more anxiety that it would alleviate.

If you aren't an anxious person then it's maybe not quite as risky, but I personally would've spent my second trimester on egg shells.

frikadela01 Fri 26-Feb-16 08:32:25

My midwife has been practicing for over 20 years and doesn't routinely listen for heartbeat until after 20 weeks because it's so hit and miss... so I'm sorry but I highly doubt the pp who are hearing it everytime at 13 and 15 weeks are actually hearing the baby.

I don't agree with them. It's just too open to cause panic for people.

Runner05 Fri 26-Feb-16 09:35:59

I am well aware what the placenta sounds like because I can also find the sound of my placenta. I'm not saying that it's easy for everyone to use a Doppler, it depends very much on where the placenta us. Luckily mine is high making baby very easy to find. I can even tell if he's jumping about or sitting still.

You and I are both entitled to our opinions but given that you are not present when I use the monitor, saying that I'm wrong and not hearing my babies heart beat is just silly. Also, the number of YouTube videos clearly showing people earlier than 20 weeks finding their baby's heart beat just goes to prove that your logic is flawed.

If you don't want to use one then you don't have to but don't impose your insecurities on others. If op or anyone else wants to use one then that is their choice and I don't believe she asked anyone's opinion on whether she should get one, just which one she should get.

KnitsBakesAndReads Fri 26-Feb-16 09:56:34

It's not really fair to say people who have concerns about the use of home dopplers are imposing their insecurities on others, runner. Of course it's every individual's choice whether to use one or not, but there's nothing wrong with people trying to make others aware of the potential dangers they pose.

There's plenty of advice from professionals - eg the RCM - saying that they caution against the use of home dopplers as they can provide false reassurance and prevent women seeking medical attention when needed, or on the other hand can cause unnecessary anxiety if a woman can't hear her baby's heartbeat when she expects to.

For example, here's a quote from the RCM:

'We advise against personal Dopplers as it takes considerable training to use them properly,' says Jane Munro of the RCM. 'It can cause needless stress to a pregnant woman when she cannot pick up her baby's heartbeat. It can lead to raised blood pressure in the mother and premature births.

'More worrying, we've had cases where there has been something wrong with a baby and the mother has been wrongly reassured after hearing her own heartbeat, or the sound of blood pumping through the placenta, leading to a dangerous delay in her seeking medical attention. In at least one instance, sadly the baby died.'


Those of us who have mentioned the problems with home dopplers are just trying to make others aware of the issues and the professional advice about them, not trying to "impose insecurities on others" as you put it.

Jw35 Fri 26-Feb-16 13:21:11

Mm! Thank you for all the your input. Makes me wonder what the point in getting one is now! Be lovely to see the baby in 3 weeks at my next scan! I did think they were just for fun tbh but I am see why so many don't see it that way. Felt some more movement today which was lovely smile

CommanderShepherd Fri 26-Feb-16 14:49:41

I have the angelsounds one from Amazon was pretty cheap. Again, used very infrequently but nice for DH to hear as timing him feeling baby kick was murder so was used for bonding

CatchingBabies Fri 26-Feb-16 16:43:09

Runner - at 13 weeks your uterus is still behind your pelvis. You cannot hear through bone therefore you have to angle the Doppler down. You may know what a placenta sounds like but do you know what an umbilical cord sounds like? Do you know what a deceleration sounds like? Do you know what good variability sounds like?

A Doppler isn't about pointing in the rough direction of the baby and listening for a noise, it has to be located so the Doppler is over the babies anterior shoulder meaning you are hearing direct heart sounds, do you know where your 13 week baby's shoulder is? Of course not! Therefore what you are hearing is not an accurate assessment of the babies wellbeing.

Mslg Fri 26-Feb-16 18:38:08

My midwife picked up baby's heartbeat quite easily today at 16+6 and it was so nice smile I won't be buying a Dopplar to try to listen myself though. For me, the anxiety of not being able to find the heartbeat myself would definitely outweigh the 'fun'. There's enough stress and worry of pregnancy without adding more to it.

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