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Mothering › Groups › October 2012 Due Date Club › Discussions › When and how to hear a heartbeat?

When and how to hear a heartbeat?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Can any Moms who have had midwives in the past tell me how early their midwife listened for a heartbeat, and with what?  Do midwives use dopplers in early pregancy- and if so, how early?


My doctor wants to use a doppler on me at my next appointment but I have been hearing some concerning things about doppler use in early pregnancy.  


How early will a fetoscope work? Are there any other alternatives to dopplers and how early do they work? 


I am hoping I can find some good information to suggest an alternative to the doc (so I don't sound like I am just giving her a list of what not to do that she has to figure out how to work around).



post #2 of 5

With DS I was able to hear his heartbeat with a doppler at 10 weeks. This was with a free standing birth center midwife. 


This time I'm planning a homebirth.  I wanted to hear the heartbeat at 10 weeks, but my midwife said that she doesn't have that strong of a doppler, so we won't be sure to hear the heartbeat until 13 weeks.  She also is concerned about too much doppler exposure this early.  I was a bit disappointed because I want to hear my little one's heartbeat, but I guess I'll manage another month before hearing it.



post #3 of 5

I didn't hear ds's heartbeat until I was around 20 weeks.  It was kind of a weird situation as my midwife wasn't local and we did a lot of our prenatals over the phone (she gave me a jar of pee sticks and I measured my own fundus and weighed myself).  I had seen her at 11 weeks, but she felt like it was too early for the doppler, and I didn't want to worry over not hearing a heartbeat just because it was too soon.  We used a fetoscope at 20 weeks, which worked fine then, but I don't know how much earlier we could have tried it. 

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Update: lightbulb.gif  I found this article on the mothering.com website http://mothering.com/pregnancy-birth/prenatal-testing-and-informed-consent?page=0,1 which says "...a stethoscope or fetoscope is as effective as a Doppler in detecting fetal heart tones after 16 weeks.idea.gif


I would still appreciate any additional information or stories you may have on the subject though lurk.gif

post #5 of 5
The earliest I've ever heard the heartbeat with a fetoscope is 20 weeks, but sometimes it's taken me even longer than that...
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