Every day of the pregnancy it is necessary to monitor the health of mom and baby. It is easy enough to monitor how the mother is feeling at home, but it is much more difficult to find out how the baby is feeling in the womb. One indicator is the heartbeat. Previously it could only be heard at a routine ultrasound, today there is a fetal doppler for pregnant women.
What is a fetal doppler
A fetal doppler is a medical device that allows you to measure the HR (heart rate) of one or more fetuses on your own. Simple use, the presence of a display and accurate mechanism allow you to accurately conduct the study at home or in the office of the gynecologist. The device allows you to know:
- The pregnant woman’s blood pressure, temperature and heart rate.
- Determine fetal motility readings.
- Examine blood oxygen saturation readings.
Depending on the model, the fetal doppler has many additional functions that allow you to understand how the baby is feeling and whether there is a reason to go to the hospital urgently. The peculiarity of using the device is the ability to monitor the heart rate at home from as early as the 16th week (and in some models from as early as the 11th week). After the baby’s heart is formed, the norm is 120-160 beats. If there is a strong slow heartbeat or its absence, the mother can timely visit the clinic and save the baby’s life.
Do I have to use the device?
The use of foetal Doppler is not mandatory if the baby has no pathology that requires constant monitoring. The device has an auxiliary character.
When its use at home is highly recommended?
- The child has an irregular heartbeat.
- Pregnancy is complicated and accompanied by the risks of losing the baby.
- A multiple pregnancy is a reason to increase monitoring.
- Childbirth is approaching, and it is necessary to monitor the condition of the baby in the womb.
Basically, this is a personal choice of the expectant mother. It is worth noting that the device is completely safe. It is a medical device, which means there are numerous clinical trials in different countries. The certified product will not harm the baby, will not cause unintended consequences, and will not provoke any complications.
How to use
To obtain quality results, it is necessary to understand how to use the fetal Doppler. Using a portable device is uncomplicated, but has a few rules that are important to consider.
- First, let’s define how often to use the fetal Doppler. Without indications for an unscheduled check, it is enough to use the device 3 times a week.
- Record the data obtained, and take measurements at the same time. It is better to present the results to the gynecologist at a routine examination.
- Before the test, apply a special gel to the abdomen and fetal doppler.
- Carry out the examination on the abdominal area 5 cm below the umbilicus. Gradually lower the device 4 cm lower.
- Fix the position of the device as soon as you hear the baby’s heartbeat.
These rules are mandatory for every examination. It is worth noting that heartbeat results are recorded on a disk or in the memory of a connected smartphone.
Step-by-step instructions for use:
- Be sure to read the instructions before using the device. The device may have peculiarities in design and application.
- Install the battery, and turn on the device.
- Connect the sensor. As soon as the icon appears on the display, the Doppler is ready for use.
- Lightly tap the transducer to check the operation of the speaker.
- If the design allows you to use headphones, do so. This way you will be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat more clearly.
As you can see, the algorithm of actions is simple. A woman can independently conduct examinations according to the doctor’s recommendations.
How to conduct the study?
It is necessary to start examining with fetal Doppler from the 16th week. It is worth noting that ultrasound, can show results after the 9th week, but it has radiation 5 times greater than a portable home device. Some models of fetal Doppler allow its use from 11 weeks.
You can perform the study at any time of the day. It is better to do it in the morning, on an empty stomach. Also advised to conduct the study at the same time, so that the comparison of results was objective.
How to care for the fetal Doppler at home
Using the fetal Doppler correctly is one thing, but choosing the correct care for the device is quite another. In order for the device to work for a long time, and to display the correct information, it is necessary:
- Clean the device of gel after each use.
- Use only mild cleansers with antibacterial effect when treating surfaces. This way you will not damage the integrity of the housing.
- Store the device in a dry place, the best way is to use the original packaging.
- Charge the gadget in a timely manner.
Using the device helps to create a safe environment for your baby’s development. At the same time, the optimal level of radiation does not cause any harm to the fetus or the mother.