Written on 13 June 2022
Pregnancy is a crucial time for the expecting mother. Health hazards are dialled to eleven. Thus, if you are an expecting mother, it is important to know that the fragile nature of the baby inherently stems from the fact that the baby is quite literally growing inside a fully functioning human. For development and growth, the foetus takes nutrients and necessary requirements from the mother. Hence, taking care of the mother and checking on the baby at repeated time intervals is imperative.
From a technical standpoint, an unborn child of a mammal (in this specific case human), which is more than eight weeks old, is called a foetus. There is no heartbeat before this time. Checking the heartbeat of a foetus is done by using a piece of equipment named the foetal Doppler monitor, and the test is called the foetal Doppler test.
A foetal Doppler test is a type of ultrasound. It is a handheld device that is used to self check the baby’s heartbeat during pregnancy at home. The test is generally performed in the second trimester of the pregnancy, usually between the 13th to the 28th week of the pregnancy. Depending on the manufacturer, some devices advertise the possibility of utilising the device from 8 to 12 weeks. However, doctors advise against it. Some may also tell you to wait up to 16 weeks so as to not make the mother nervous from possible faulty readings. These faulty readings can occur due to the baby being in the pelvis of the mother.
The process of checking a baby’s heartbeat at home is fairly simple. At-home foetal Dopplers are available on eCommerce stores and at offline retailers.
The method is fairly standardised. Moving the device slowly over the mother’s womb should give out a reading. Listening to the foetus’ heartbeat lets you connect with them.
The science behind the process is also fairly straightforward. Foetal sounds are detected by a high-frequency wave sent out by the device, which gives the reading.
The process seems easy, and you may feel ready to buy an at-home foetal Doppler. However, it is strongly recommended that you first ask your doctor for advice and discuss the subject with them at length. Secondly, it is even more vital to be aware of and understand the potential risks applicable to using the device.
These risks could harm potentially the mother and the child. At this point, it is crucial to note that the first foetal Doppler test is generally recommended to be done in the presence of a doctor by a professional sonographer. Only after should an expectant mother perform a foetal doppler at home. This ensures that it is the right time to perform a foetal doppler and that the readings are accurate.
An argument that has been raised repeatedly is that these devices can give a faulty reading because they don’t match the quality standards of a hospital-grade foetal doppler. Some also say that it is better to let professional sonographers handle this task due to the sensitive nature of the mother-child relationship and the underlying ecosystem. Midwives are the fiercest critics who have more often than not voiced opinions against checking baby's heartbeat during pregnancy at home using foetal dopplers. It is, however, a view or a perspective and not a mandate to be followed. Parents have been using the technology to keep tabs on babies and continue to do so. If your doctor doesn’t restrict the use of an at-home foetal Doppler for any reason, it can be considered alright for a parent to go ahead. If you know how to self check baby's heartbeat during pregnancy at home, then you have nothing to worry about. Thank you for reading, and many congratulations on your baby.
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