Is Hiring a Doppler a Good Idea for Brisbane Mums
A Doppler foetal monitor is a handheld ultrasound device used for listening to your unborn baby’s heartbeat, and often also monitoring their heart rate. Dopplers were originally invented for use by healthcare professionals, but they are becoming more and more popular with expecting parents. There is some controversy around this trend, so to help you decide whether hiring a Doppler is the right thing for you and your baby, we have put together an overview of the pros and cons.
The pros of hiring a Doppler
Peace of mind
Many expecting parents worry about their unborn baby, especially those who have experienced a previous loss. To be able to do a quick and simple check of the baby’s heartbeat can provide instant relief and ease unnecessary worrying and stress.
Because you like it
Anyone who has heard that gentle swoosh swoosh swoosh of their baby’s heartbeat on a Doppler will know what a joy that is to experience. It is hard to describe how special it is being able to hear the first sounds from your growing baby and it is something that many expecting parents really treasure.
Many expecting parents find listening to their baby’s heartbeat an incredibly bonding experience. It can help them to focus on their baby and feel connected to them well before they are born.
Hiring a Doppler also allows you to share the experience of hearing the baby’s heartbeat with loved ones who may not otherwise have had the opportunity. It can also help older siblings to get used to the idea that there is a real baby in there!
You can use a Doppler to check your baby’s heartbeat any time, day or night. You do not have to wait for doctor’s appointments and you can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
The Downside of Hiring a Foetal Doppler
Hearing a heartbeat is not the only indicator that everything is fine with a developing baby. Many medical professionals worry that pregnant women may fail to have important prenatal checkups or to seek professional medical help when necessary, because their concerns have been falsely alleviated by hearing the heartbeat.
Lack of experience
Not having professional medical training may have some disadvantages when it comes to using a Doppler at home. Some people may struggle to find a heartbeat or accidentally listen to their own instead, which could lead to unnecessary anxiety. Also, healthcare professionals often use a Doppler to check the position of the baby and listen for movement, not just a heartbeat — home checks might not be as accurate or thorough.
Most recommendations suggest limiting the use of a hired Doppler to just a few minutes per day, since the effect of the sound waves on the baby have not been fully investigated. However, for many people with this device at their fingertips, it is hard to exercise this restraint.
Hiring a quality Doppler for the duration of a pregnancy can be expensive. On the plus side, fees are definitely coming down and for some people this is a small price to pay for the peace of mind a Doppler can bring. You can also often purchase them second hand via Gumtree or Ebay which is ideal considering many women only use them a few times during a pregnancy.
Whether or not you decide to hire a Doppler is a personal choice, but either way, we are very privileged to have this as an option. A hired Doppler should never replace regular antenatal visits or the professional assessment of any concerns, but used in the right way, a Doppler can certainly bring lots of joy and some peace to what is a very exciting but often worrying time.