Use of dopplers - advice needed!

Hey everyone.

For a bit of peace of mind I invested in a fetal doppler, which (allegedly!) works from 8 weeks +. Anyway it took me ages to find the 'womb noise' but now I have found that I still can't hear my baby's heart. I'm 13 weeks. Any need to worry? Or any tips?

Thank you!


  • Thanks image I haven't really started 'showing' yet so maybe baby hasn't 'popped up' yet! I'll have one last go...
  • OH MY GOD! I found it! At least, I think I did!!! It sort of sounds like Duh-dum, duh-dum, but really fast. I read it would sound like a horse and it kinda does. I didn't get it for long though!

    [Modified by: **Tiger Lily** on October 22, 2007 03:13 PM]
  • please be careful using the doppler to much you might get dependant on it casuse your still very early on so please be careful
    i know we all worrie i do it hell of alot here to talk anytime for you.
  • Hi Tiger lily,

    I invested in an "Angelsounds" doppler after alot of consideration. It can get quite frustrating trying to find the lo's heartbeat, mine was always right at the top of my pelvic bone, but I was advised by my midwife that the baby at that early stage can move to the back of the womb, I still now at 18+1wks sometimes struggle to get a good listen to the heartbeat. I do agree with bunintheoven81 not to get to dependant but please enjoy it. I have lost 2 babies previously so trust me, I know what it's like to worry. But this site is fantastic for any worries & support.

    Take care & good luck.
    Hannah x x
  • Thanks everyone - going to try and only use it once a week, or so, as it did take ages to find so that'd be a waste of an hour a day lol. I had a lot of early bleeding so am more worried than most, I think - this is my first baby.

    Hanny30, I couldn't pick it up for long as it kept (I'm assuming) getting away from me. I'm not worried though as I also heard the baby had a lot of space to move around in the early second trimester.

  • Kelly - sooo know what you mean! I was in 2 minds about it, but it wasn't expensive so what the hell.

    I tried to find it for my partner (am putting it down now, honest) and couldn't. I'm not worrying though as it's so early!
  • hi i bought one around 18 weeks and couldnt find heart beat...found my own but not babies....anyway im now 38 + 4 weeks and being induced next tuesday and i still cant find babies heart beat with ours!! I got myself so worried and asked mw and she was not happy at all that i had bought one!! anyway my baby was and is fine all along just a crap doppler!!
  • most midwifes wont check for a heartbeat with dopplers in the first 18 weeks or so because they r unrealible in finding babies heartbeat and can cause worry for the mothers. in a labour ward they will only use fetal monitors if u r 20+++ weeks.
    dopplers r not good for early pregnancies no matter what the instructions say.
    dont panic if u cant find the heart beat it may just be to early, but a babies heart beat can be anything between 120 and 160, norm is 145 beats per minute.
    take care sassie. xx
  • I struggled to find heartbeat until about 14wks, then discovered that what i thought was the heartbeat was actually the placenta!

    I used it every couple of days until i had 20wk scan, now it's probably once a wk (if that) for hubby to have a listen or if i just want to feel closer to baby.

    Don't stress if you can't find it, they do a good job of playing hide & seek!


  • Yeah it is very hard to get the heartbeat. I can get the 'placenta noise' (is that the powww.powww kinda noise?) but not baby, most of the time. I'm pretty sure I heard the baby though - but it's weird, one minute I can find a really fast heartbeat like a galloping horse and the next it's pretty fast, but just like a regular heartbeat. Could I sometimes be hearing my heartbeat?!
  • I dont have a doppler but think you should hear an intermittent whooshing noise. I was recommended not to get one because you cant always find it and then causes worry.
    I have a stethoscope and have tried that but heard nothing.
    Once you start to feel the baby moving around, thats reassurance that all is well with the LO.
  • I've had my doppler since about 14 weeks and it was the best ??30 I ever spent! It took me 3 days to find baby, but after that we usually managed to find him..although sometimes the heartbeat was so faint, and sometimes the little bugger would just wiggle away and we'd not pick it up again.

    At 30 weeks we still use it pretty much every day - its good for hubby to listen and I like to listen for movements if baby is being fairly quiet.

    I'd totally recommend a doppler if you want the reassurance, but please remember that early on baby is very hard to find as it'll be very low down, and you have to be prepared not to worry if you can't find the heartbeat straight off - sometimes especially in the early days its just hard to find cause baby is so small. Midwifes dont like to check before around 15 weeks cause they can't always find them - it took my mw a good 5 mins tpo find our baby heartbeat at 12 weeks - and she only tried because I'd already had an early scan and had my dating scan 2 days later...oh and I begged her!!!

    We have found that its easier to find baby if I lie down and oh listens first and uses the doppler - if I;m moving the doppler sometimes I move too much to pick it up - although it has got easier as baby got bigger. It definately gets easier to find with time and practice.

    If you aren't sure what you lare listening for - I got a link to a website with baby heartbeat sounds and placenta sounds and stuff... but its upstairs so I'd have to look later if you want
  • I've got a doppler and I love it - it's so reassuring - sometimes it does take a few minutes to find the baby but I only failed once when we first got it. Yes TigerLily you will hear your own heartbeat but it's about half the speed of the baby's so you can usually tell - I find my lo tends to sit right about where my pulse is - so sometimes it can change straight from the baby's heartbeat to mine as if it's the same one - it's easier if you don't eat for a while before hand as well - then you're not getting various other abdomin related noises!!! Enjoy it xx
  • Ah it's so confusing! LolaP, it took me ages to find it - like an hour! I'm certain that was the baby. But I have only really heard mine since, and the sound of the placenta, and of the baby moving (I think!)

    It's kind of both worrying and reassuring. My own fault :cry:

    Is 13 weeks too early to hear the baby most of the time?
  • i would say its a bit early, you are getting confused and aggitated, wait til u r 15-17 weeks it should be easier to find, but i know thats easier said than done. goodluck sassie xx
  • Dunno about 13 weeks being too early - I think it depends how low down baby is and how much patience you have. At 12 weeks it took the mw ages to find the heartbeat, but i didn't get my doppler till 14 weeks - from about 14+3 we were managing to find it nearly every time we tried - and we did listen every day pretty much - although some days early on we would only hear the heartbeat very fainly and sometimes only for a few seconds. - this is a linky to a site with some womb noises - that might help you figure out what you are hearing.

    If you aren't sure whether its the baby or you - try counting over the space of a minute - if you get anywhere from 130-150ish beats a minute then it'll be baby. I always get around 140bpm when I count, although its usually higher when the mw listens.

    Mw told me tehy don't listen till around 15 weeks cuase sometimes its hard to find the heartbeat, but to be honest I think its that they don't want to spend more than about 20 seconds looking! When she listens to babys heartbeat she's over and done with in like 20 seconds and I have to be quick to get her to check how fast his heart is beating!! I'm so glad I can listen on my doppler for as long as i want!

    Baby movign sounds are great..its kinda like a blobby 'wub' sound. Took me a while to figure out thats what that noise was!!

    Keep trying - you'll get more used to the noises the more you listen and you'll find it easier to figure out what is going on.. my problem was that i kept moving the doppler around too much whereas hubby would put it in one place and tilt it around a lot which got much better results. i'm just too impatient!!
  • I didn't hear my baby's heartbeat for the first time untill 16 weeks and even them the midwife said she might not be able to find it.

    Have a read at the Magicmonica message from a few weeks back I just found it and put it to the top of the list for you.

    Hope it helps. It helped me make up my mind whether or not to buy one and I decided not to get one. I know baby is ok at the minute it moves around all the time now. 23weeks tomorrow.

    [Modified by: emma/george6945 on October 24, 2007 09:12 PM]
  • Thanks everyone for all the reassurance, it seems we all have different experiences of dopplers, some good some bad!

    Funnily enough I've just been using it and baby has given me some reassurance too! I worked the hb out at about 150bpm. I'm sure it wasn't mine as it was constant and I could feel my heart going crazy when I was hearing it! haha.

    [Modified by: **Tiger Lily** on October 24, 2007 09:23 PM]
  • hi ya hun

    The thing with dopplers is you really CANT depend on them and you haveto constantly remind yourself that you wont always be able to find the heartbeat.It is good for reassurance but it can also be bad.You really have to just look at it as a bonus if you do fin the heartbeat and try not too panic if you dont.

    The baby could be laying in funny position/ hiding sometimes i have even noticed my LO is moving around way to much to pick up a steady heartbeat, i will catch it for a second and then baby swims away!

    I honestly love my doppler and am so glad i have it as it is nice to hear baby when you want to but unless you can onvince yourself not to rely on them too much they are not always a good idea!

    charlie x 20 wks
  • Hi there,

    I used my doppler from 10 weeks as I, like you, had bleeds early on. They were terrifying. Mine was delivered to my oh's work (school teacher) and that morning I had a bleed so rushed off to his school and was lying on his headteachers office floor trying to find my lo's heartbeat...very funny now but not at the time. It took a few minutes but I found it. No mistaking is a faster than fast heartbeat, galloping horses sound and mine registered the heartbeat which was 140-150 bpm so no mistaking it.

    My lo, at 10 weeks was deep down inside me and I had to try and get it down and in towards my seat, if you now what I mean. The older she got and the more experienced I became the easier it was. When she started moving I used it less and less. It was very reassuring and I guess I was dependant on it at first but it really helped me feel better knowing my lo was ok so I don't care.

    It was the best money I've ever spent!!!

    Nancy. x

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