This digital age of marvelous technological advancements allows us to live in a world where everything is almost possible, including hearing the heartbeat of an unborn baby at home. Today, access to fetal dopplers or baby heartbeat monitors is very easy and simple. You can find it online and have it delivered right at your doorstep. But, the nagging question right now is, should you have one at home or should you just use it at your doctor’s office? In this article, we gather the pros and cons and even experts’ opinions about having a fetal doppler at home.
What is a Fetal Doppler?
A fetal doppler is a portable ultrasound transducer device that uses soundwaves to gauge the wavelengths and relay it back as sound. There are some models that are capable of producing fetal heart rate on their display. It is an essential device that health care providers use to evaluate the current state of your baby.
Could Ease Your Anxiety
Pregnant women undergo a lot of emotions during pregnancy, especially first-timers. One of these is the anxiety of not feeling their baby move. This is where fetal dopplers come in handy. If you are one of these anxious women, you do not have to go to the ER to hear your baby’s heartbeat. Having a fetal doppler could save you a lot of trouble, and sanity too.
Could Be a Great Bonding Experience
Mothers know that they genuinely experience all the emotions during pregnancy. Most of the time, their husbands only start the same bond when the baby is born. A fetal doppler at home could draw in the family allowing the father and other siblings some of the bonds that only the mother and the baby share before delivery. There are some models that allow you to not only hear but also record the baby’s heartbeat.
It Could Increase Your Anxiety
Just as it eases anxiety among pregnant women, a home doppler could also cause anxiety. The scenario of not hearing the heartbeat could trigger more anxiety. There are many reasons why a baby’s heartbeat cannot be heard. This includes the position of the baby inside the womb. Not hearing it heartbeat could cause unnecessary anxiety and most likely a trip to the ER or to the doctor’s clinic.
It Could Give a False Assurance
The fetal doppler could be misinterpreted in the hands of an untrained person. There are other sounds that can be gathered by a fetal doppler, including the mother’s heartbeat. There was a case online recently about a grief-stricken mother who discourages people from relying on home fetal dopplers. She said she trusted the device knowing that there was something wrong.
Official Standpoints from The Experts About Fetal Doppler Use at Home
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, both fetal ultrasound and fetal doppler devices are prescription medical devices that are designed to be used by trained health care professionals. These devices are not meant for over the counter use or sale.
This is reasserted by the AWHONN, or the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses. The association encourages the presence of registered nurses and other health care professionals in fetal heart monitoring. According to AWHONN, this should be handled by professionals who are skilled in various techniques like electronic fetal monitoring, and auscultation. This is very critical to fetal and maternal well-being during antepartum, labor, and birth care. Also, fetal monitoring entails advance clinical and assessment judgment skills and should not be executed by unlicensed personnel or those who do not have the proper license, skills validation, and education say the AWHONN.
OB-Gyns have the same stance on home dopplers. According to one OB-Gyn, he would not say that he encourages home fetal dopplers. However, if one chooses to have it he would not give any negative comments. The doctor added that couples that purchase fetal dopplers usually find assurance and comfort in their opportunity to hear the heartbeat of their baby on their own. It could help ease anxiety during pregnancy, which is a good thing.
While the experts have a common opinion that fetal dopplers at home should be supervised and administered by licensed and skilled professionals, it still depends on you. However, it is always important to keep in mind that hearing or not hearing the heartbeat from the fetal doppler has various causes. If hearing the heartbeat of your baby eases tension and anxiety, which is good for you and your baby’s health, you might want one.
Article Submitted By Community Writer