What's in This Guide?
- 1 What is the Heartbeat?
- 2 How do i listen to My Baby’s Heartbeat?
- 3 List of Various Devices Used to listen to a Baby’s Heartbeat Rate
- 4 Preparing to Hear Your Baby’s Heartbeat
- 5 Final Thought
Hearing your baby’s heartbeat is an incredible experience every to-be parents want to have. Many pregnant mothers see this as a fascinating moment during the pregnancy period. However, the eagerness to listening to your baby’s heartbeat may also create emotional tension. Though, seeking your doctor’s advice on when to do this will usually reduce the anxiety.
For some to-be mothers, they preferred conducting this test at home with or without a doctor’s advice by using simple devices or a mobile app on their phones. You should contact a medical practitioner for this. The doctor will tell you when to start listening to your baby’s heartbeat and what to expect afterward, which will also help calm your nerves.
We present in this review comprehensive guides on how and when to listen to your baby’s heartbeat.
What is the Heartbeat?
A heartbeat is a periodic contraction and expansion of the arteries with each heartbeat, which takes about a second. It is the rate at which the heartbeats per minute. Heartbeat rate is usually higher in fetal than in matured humans. On average, the fetal heartbeat rate range from 110 to 160 beats per minute.
This rate changes as your pregnancy progresses or as your baby reacts to some conditions in the uterus. Your baby’s heartbeat rate says a lot about how healthy your baby is in the womb.
How do i listen to My Baby’s Heartbeat?
There are various methods in which you can listen to your baby’s heartbeat. However, professional assistance may be required for some, while others may not. These devices come in different forms and are used at different pregnancy stages up to the delivery day.
The device uses sound waves to pick up the fetus’s vibrations, record, and display for reading.
There are two different approaches to use;
The Trans-Vaginal Scan:
In the transvaginal scan method, a medical practitioner will insert a device through your cervix to your baby’s scalp to record the signal.
The Trans-Abdominal Scan:
In the trans-abdominal scan method, a handheld scanning device connected to a monitor will be placed on the abdomen to pick the vibration from the fetus.
These two methods are standard procedures; a doctor may decide to use anyone. For instance, in the early stage of the pregnancy, the transvaginal scan can be used while a trans-abdominal scan becomes preferable during the second and third trimester.
List of Various Devices Used to listen to a Baby’s Heartbeat Rate
This is a cone-shaped ancient fetal listening device. It is a simple manual device placed directly on the pregnant mother’s abdomen. The wider end is moved around the pregnant woman’s belly, while the narrow end is placed on the midwife’s ear as she listens.
It can be used between 18 to 22 weeks of pregnancy. Unfortunately, it may not give the best result and is no longer commonly used nowadays.
A fetal Doppler is a handheld ultrasound device that picks your baby’s heartbeats in the form of sound waves using the Doppler Effect. It is a portable device with a transducer placed below the expected mother’s navel and displays the heartbeat rate counts on a screen connected to it.
A fetal Doppler test is usually done from weeks 13 to 28 of pregnancy. Your doctor can decide to use it to carry out routine checks, even during delivery, depending on the device’s sensitivity.
This is one of the most common medical tools used to magnify vibrations from the patients’ internal organs. It is an easy-to-use device that is very good to listen to a fetal heartbeat by placing it on a pregnant mother’s lower abdomen while the listing ends placed on the doctor’s ears. The stethoscope can pick the baby’s heartbeat rate from 18 to 22 weeks of conception. The reliability of what you hear varies with the quality of the stethoscope used.
A fetoscope is like the standard stethoscope except for the bell-shaped end that amplifies signals from the fetus to the other limitations placed in the doctor’s ears for listening. It can pick fetus heartbeat starting from about 18 weeks of pregnancy.
It gives an immediate result, unlike the ultrasound tests, and becomes more reliable when placed directly over the fetal heart, and can also detect the fetal positioning.
These are electronic applications that can be used on smartphones, available on iOS or Google Play stores. This method is one of the most convenient ways of listening to your baby’s heartbeat. It has no time limit, no appointments, and entirely on the go and most interesting this is, many of the apps are entirely free and required no external device to use.
Download apps like baby scope, baby heartbeats lite, baby heartbeat monitor, baby heartbeat listener, fetal beats, hear my baby heartbeat, and tiny beat, among others on your smartphone.
Then open the app and start listening using your phone’s microphone and your earpiece to listen. However, to use the apps to listen to your baby’s heartbeat, put your phone on flight mode to minimize the chance of exposing your baby to harmful radiation from the smartphone.
This is a multi-purpose medical diagnostic equipment to examine the condition of internal body organs. The complete set has a monitor, a transducer, and a bed. It can be used as a trans-vaginal or trans-abdominal scan depending on the types of the transducer.
In a trans-abdominal scan, the transducer is placed on the pregnant woman’s abdomen. Still, in a trans-vaginal scan, an endo-vaginal transducer will be inserted into the woman’s vaginal while lying on her back. The signal is displayed on the screen in either 3D or 4D form for all to see, including the expectant mother. This method can be used from the early stage of the pregnancy to the delivery day.
Preparing to Hear Your Baby’s Heartbeat
You may become nervous when going for your first fetal heartbeat test; stay calm. It is an exciting routine you should enjoy doing. When you get to the hospital, you will be instructed on what to do.
Some laboratory technicians will tell you to take one or two cups of water before the test, while others will not. The procedure is not time-consuming; in 20 to 30 minutes, you are done with lively smiles all over your face.
Why Should i listen to My Baby’s Heartbeat?
There are many reasons to listen to your baby’s heartbeat. For example, to know your baby’s state of health or to feel the excitement of carrying a little replicate of yourself. Mothers-to-be find it relieving and reassuring that the baby is growing by listening to the baby’s heartbeat. It may even merely be a way to bond with your baby.
When Can I Hear My Baby’s Heartbeat?
The fetus undergoes many stages during development, one of which is the formation of the heart chambers. Although the fetus starts to develop a circulatory circuit and heart beating mechanism around 5-6 weeks of conception, you will likely not hear the heartbeat this early.
At about eight weeks, the heart components must have been formed with an average heartbeat, counting 110 beats per minute.
Can I Hear My Baby’s Heartbeat without Any Tools?
It may be a bit difficult to achieve a desirable result without any aid, but possible. The parent can do this in a tranquil place by asking someone to place an ear on the expectant mothers’ abdomen, especially at an advanced stage of pregnancy.
It is a highly unreliable way because having interference from the listener or mother’s breath is very high. Frankly speaking, approach your doctor for appropriate methods to use.
What If I Don’t Hear My Baby’s Heartbeat?
If you are unable to detect your baby’s heartbeat, there is no cause for alarm, which may arise due to various reasons. For example;
If you have a big abdomen or are obese, it may become somewhat difficult to hear your baby’s heartbeat.
In early pregnancy, the devices you are using may find it hard to detect a heartbeat or locate fetal pulse using trans-abdominal methods.
All devices or mobile apps can naturally be affected by internal anatomy, background noise, and other interference forms.
It is an exciting and comforting moment listening to your baby’s heartbeat for most expectant parents. You can make your choices from the great methods provided in this review, either to use the fetal Doppler, fetoscope, or the on-the-go mobile apps.
You can utilize the great information that this article provides and prepare yourself to hear your baby’s heartbeat. But do endeavor to your midwife or doctor concerning the accuracy and safety of the available methods to save yourself from unnecessary nervousness.
Hearing Baby’s Heartbeat for expectant moms, especially first-time pregnant women, comes with bundles of excitements for every routine prenatal appointment. Seeking medical expert advice before doing the test is essential to calm the tension. You can even make the excitement last longer using the fetal heartbeat mobile applications on the go. Learn more about this exciting activity.