About Me

I'm a mum of two young children with my third on the way, i myself purchased a fetal doppler and it has given me a P.o.M  (Peace of Mind).

How I Have P o M

I wake up every morning, get my two young ones ready for nursery.

Then its PoM time.

The British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) says that there has never been any evidence of harm resulting from the use of ultrasound in pregnancy. Hand-held Dopplers work by using very low power levels, called continuous wave Doppler. This means they are safe to use over a long period. The CTG machines that midwives sometimes use in labour to monitor a baby's heart electronically work in the same way.

Getting a heart rate of your unborn baby after 13 weeks is very reassuring. You can concentrate on the other matters affecting your pregnancy life. I follow a checklist to prepare for P o M.

1. Wash my hands

2. Make sure my fetal doppler has fully charged batteries.

3. I make sure i have enough fetal doppler gel.

4. I have a comfortable bed/sofa/hammock to lie on.

5. I prefer to apply more gel onto probe than on my abdomen

6. I move probe till i can hear and read the heart beat/rate.

I have found it difficult hearing the heartbeat / heart rate. I cannot give any reason why, however I do not panic. I do my checklist again after another two hours and have always succeeded in finding the heart rate.

It is very important that you can differentiate what you are reading and hearing.

You aren't really hearing the heartbeat but the amplified "beat frequency" generated by the interaction of the outgoing ultrasound signal, and the returning ultrasound signal. When the outgoing signal is reflected back by a fetal heart, then the returning signal has a slightly higher frequency (if the object is moving toward the transducer), or slightly lower frequency (if the object is moving away). This is called the Doppler shift. Every so often, the peaks and valleys of these slightly different frequencies are superimposed on each other, creating a much louder sound, that happens to be in the audible range. It is this sound that you are hearing. The normal rate is generally considered to be between 120 and 160 beats per minute.The rates are typically higher (140-160) in early pregnancy, and lower (120-140) toward the end of pregnancy. Past term, some normal fetal heart rates fall to 110 BPM. There is no correlation between heart rate and the gender of the fetus.

Use the coupling agent (Ultrasound gel) to make a good acoustical connection between the transducer and the skin. Doppler fetal heartbeat detectors are moderately directional, so unless you happen to aim it directly at the fetal heart initially, you will need to move it or angle it to find the heartbeat. Confirm a normal rate, and listen for any abnormalities in the rhythm of the fetal heart beat

When in doubt its best consult your midwife/doctor.

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