My feed

to access all these features

Get updates on how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy by signing up to the Mumsnet Pregnancy Newsletters.


Home Dopplers your experiences?

42 replies

Wotsits4357542 · 04/05/2020 09:19

I’ve bought a home Doppler and really regret it!
I used it a few times yesterday and picked my own heartbeat up then after ages of using it heard what I thought was a background heartbeat for about a second. Couldn’t find it again. Used it this morning and still can only hear my own. It’s not causing me worry, feel stupid for getting it! I’m about 15 weeks anyone else who couldn’t pick it up and everything was fine? Is it normal not to hear it?

OP posts:
Dyra · 04/05/2020 09:24

Yes. Even fully trained, experienced midwives can struggle to pick up a heartbeat at the 16 week appointment. Can you still send it back and get a refund?

Jay0512 · 04/05/2020 09:25

I haven’t got any experience with one but I’ve I know a lot of people disprove of them because they can falsely reassure pregnant women if they hear a heartbeat when it’s not one! Be careful Xx

yatapina · 04/05/2020 09:28

This is why they're not recommended - they either give false reassurance or false alarm.

Midwives are trained to pick up the right sounds and where to find them but it's not always easy for them, depending on placenta and baby positioning it may take a few attempts to find.

Send it back or bin it.

NChangeForNoReason · 04/05/2020 09:51

Don't even bother u til at least 20w - I could only get the placenta from 16-21w and I drove me potty. By 22w I could find the HB but it was hit and miss.

All depends on how plump u are, baby's position, placenta position and experience of dopplers!!

LolaSmiles · 04/05/2020 09:54

Midwives are trained to use them properly as specifically advise against people buying their own as it can give false reassurance and cause false alarm.

As another poster said, send it back or bin it.

gingysmummy · 04/05/2020 09:58

I used one from 7 weeks i had a lot of loses so that's why I bought one . You tube has great videos on where to position it depending how many weeks pregant you are

Darkstar4855 · 04/05/2020 10:12

Never used one. They tend to generate anxiety when you can’t find the heartbeat and can give false reassurance later on when you do.

Wotsits4357542 · 04/05/2020 10:33

Thankyou for your replies, I’m not worrying about it now, read a lot of women can’t find anything before 20 weeks and a lot of midwives don’t do it before then now. Going to put it away and not use again.

OP posts:
sel2223 · 04/05/2020 10:35

Never used one and absolutely no intention of getting one....they can cause so much anxiety and you really have no idea what you are picking up unless you are properly trained.

A lot of experienced midwives have stopped listening for the heartbeat at the 16 week appointments as they can be so hard to find.... and when I had a scan at 23 weeks, I lay there listening to what I thought was the heartbeat for ages, only to be told it was actually the sound of the blood flowing between placenta and baby! It sounded exactly the same as the heartbeat to my untrained ear!
Not to mention you can pick up the sound of your own heartbeat too.

Nope, I think they are a really bad idea.

  1. you might not find the hb which causes massive anxiety and 2) you might think you are hearing the hb when you're not which might stop you getting medical attention when something is actually wrong.
Sb131216 · 04/05/2020 10:54

My midwife last time at 16 weeks said they don't always find it at 16 weeks so it isnt abnormal.
I know a lot of midwives advise against them even though its tempting!

We all make purchases we regret, maybe sell it on?

Catlover10 · 04/05/2020 12:00

I started using mine about 18 weeks and managed to find it, but wouldn’t have wanted to try any earlier than that. However it was only reassuring while I couldn’t feel the baby move. Now that I can feel movements (33 weeks) I don’t really use the Doppler because any reduction in movements needs to be reviewed and I can’t take any reassurance from the Doppler. I’d just leave it a few weeks and try again!

GaaaaarlicBread · 04/05/2020 12:31

I really like mine but even my husband who is fully trained in using them struggled to find the HB before 18 weeks. That’s why most midwives don’t check for the HB at 16 week appointments, they generally only do it after 18 weeks. Don’t lose hope and don’t worry, baby will be fine xx

Moo678 · 04/05/2020 12:46

@gingysmummy how early did you pick up the heartbeat? I’ve had several miscarriages and I’m dreading another missed miscarriage at booking scan. Wonder if this might help prepare me for the worst.

Babyboomtastic · 04/05/2020 13:07

They are great IF you are good at deciphering the different sounds and IF you don't get worried in the times you can't find it.

I've used it in both of my pregnancies from about 10w, and usually found it fine. After some practice it's easy to tell it apart from the other noises,but yes it does take a bit of practice first.

I remember at my 16w appointment, my midwife couldn't find the heartbeat for ages. I eventually suggested where she should look (where baby usually hung out) and she found it.

So personally I love them, but I have always been of the view that if I can find the job great, if not, it's not there's something wrong but that baby is hiding. If it's making you anxious then it's very much not for you. It's for fun not reassurance!

Babyboomtastic · 04/05/2020 13:09


I think it varies. I could find it reliably from 10w with an anterior placenta and a few extra stone...

angel0071987 · 04/05/2020 13:21

No no no. Please no. A lady I knew had one and was happily using it saying she could hear baby and her heartbeat and differentiate them as baby was quicker than hers etc. Got to scan and baby had died about 7weeks before her scan

gingysmummy · 04/05/2020 13:39

I'd picked up heartbeat between 7-8 weeks I had 8 mmc where the baby had always died at 8 weeks. It gave me a lot of reassurance but I understand it's not for everyone and this is just my opinion. My ds is a very healthy 3 year old now. I picked hb up very low down at pubic bone early on. And used lots of gel

GaaaaarlicBread · 04/05/2020 15:16

@angel0071987 that’s very sad but she obviously wasn’t using it properly , she maybe heard the placenta whooshing as that’s very fast like a babies pulse . That’s what people don’t realise , you can hear baby, your heart beat and placenta . As well as other movements etc .

strawberry2017 · 04/05/2020 15:40

Personally don't think they should be sold to anyone who isn't a medical professional who knows how to use them and interpret them properly.

sel2223 · 04/05/2020 16:12

@angel0071987 that is so sad and exactly why they're not recommended for use by anyone who's not properly trained.
So many people thinking they're an 'expert' when they really don't know for certain what it is they're listening to.

SunbathingDragon · 04/05/2020 16:15

It’s not even that you might pick up the wrong heartbeat but that you can hear the right heartbeat and assume it means baby is alive, therefore ok. It’s the heartbeat’s pattern that’s important. That’s why when you go to hospital for checkup the CTG monitor looks at the pattern as much as the beats and movement. Stay away from dopplers.

Wanderer1 · 04/05/2020 16:28

I could swear my baby hates dopplers too. Every midwife appointment it goes crazy as soon as it's on, like it's trying to get away from it.
There is plenty of evidence of the negative effects of US waves (used on dopplers too) on unborn animal fetus' so is only use when absolutely needed - medical appointments

MichelleOR84 · 05/05/2020 15:11

I have a Doppler and I really only used it from 12-20 weeks . After that I could feel movement everyday .

It’s difficult sometimes to find the heartbeat and I found myself only using it maybe once a week as reassurance but of course when I couldn't find the heartbeat that defeated the purpose of the reassurance.

Maybelatte · 05/05/2020 16:20

I used one during my last pregnancy because I’d had two missed miscarriages before so I wanted the extra reassurance. I used it almost daily and found it really helpful if I hadn’t felt kicks for an hour (yes I was extremely paranoid right throughout). It’s difficult to get the positioning right early on because they’re so low down and the placenta may be in the way if you have an anterior. Even trained midwives struggle at 16 weeks, I’d leave it until at least 20 weeks.

CleverQuacks · 05/05/2020 16:29

I had a check up at the hospital yesterday (high risk pregnancy). I am 22 weeks pregnant and before listening in to the baby the midwife warned that it can take some time to find the baby this early. If a trained midwife can find it difficult then I don’t think I could do any better!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.