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William Harrell
William Harrell

Where To Buy A Fetal Heart Doppler


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Most women first hear their baby's heartbeat during a routine checkup that uses the fetal Doppler. Many ultrasound machines also allow the heartbeat to be heard even before it can be heard with a Doppler. Most women now get an ultrasound before 12 weeks.


Abnormal fetal heart rate (FHR) in the intrapartum period can indicate a hypoxic state in a fetus resulting from interruption of placental blood flow [5]. Because abnormal FHR is a potential predicator of newborn asphyxia, FHR monitoring is important for quality intrapartum care. Conversely, poor quality intrapartum FHR monitoring contributes to intrapartum stillbirths [6]. In Tanzania, studies have provided strong evidence of fetal heart abnormalities as a predictor of fresh stillbirth, birth asphyxia, and newborn death [7]. Improvements to intrapartum monitoring have had demonstrated results, as in a 1989 study in southwest Tanzania where an intervention related to intrapartum monitoring was associated with a reduction of perinatal mortality from 71 to 39 deaths per 1000 births [8]. Despite this evidence, quality of intrapartum FHR monitoring, both upon admission to labor and delivery services and intermittently throughout labor, is often poor in Tanzania [6].


Another interviewee stressed the need for both health care providers and women entering maternity services to buy in to use of Doppler for FHR monitoring. (Doppler makes the fetal heartbeat audible to both the health care provider and the woman in labor.)


One of the reasons for this is because home fetal dopplers can be of poor quality. Think about it: Your doctor will always have medical-grade, accurate equipment, approved by any required safety agencies.


In 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised against using fetal dopplers. The only time you should use a doppler, the FDA says, is when a doctor is using it, in which case it is medically necessary.


Fetal ultrasound imaging provides real-time images of the fetus. Doppler fetal ultrasound heartbeat monitors are hand-held ultrasound devices that let you listen to the heartbeat of the fetus. Both are prescription devices designed to be used by trained health care professionals. They are not intended for over-the-counter (OTC) sale or use, and the FDA strongly discourages their use for creating fetal keepsake images and videos.


Background: Fetal stethoscopes are mainly used for intermittent monitoring of fetal heart rate (FHR) during labor in low-income countries, where perinatal mortality is still high. Handheld Dopplers are rarely available and are dependent on batteries or electricity. The objective was to compare the Pinard stethoscope versus a new wind-up handheld Doppler in the detection of abnormal FHR.


Objectives: In resource-poor settings, the standard of care to inform labour management is the partograph plus Pinard stethoscope for intermittent fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring. We compared FHR monitoring in labour using a novel, robust wind-up handheld Doppler with the Pinard as a primary screening tool for abnormal FHR on perinatal outcomes.


Handheld Doppler fetal heart rate monitors are widely sold for at-home use. Compared with professional devices that provide detailed information about heart function, at-home models only measure heart rate.


A study of 22 apps that did not require a separate accessory found that none could detect the fetal heartbeat. Also, many apps provided false information in the description or failed to add a medical disclaimer.


Heart rate monitoring can give your healthcare provider valuable information about how your baby is doing, but you may not benefit from all types of fetal heart rate monitoring. At-home devices and mobile apps are not recommended. People with low-risk pregnancies do not need continuous electronic fetal monitoring during labor. Talk with your provider about the risks associated with these types of monitoring. This will help you decide what is best for you and your baby.


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