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Asking Doctor to use fetoscope instead of Doppler to hear baby's heart beat?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I was in my OB/GYN office and I expressed my concern over the use of a doppler to hear the baby's heart beat and asked if she could use a fetascope instead and the Dr got defensive and asked "what can I do for you then?"  As if theres no purpose for me to see her if I wont let her do her standard procedures, she also said she wasn't 90 years old and that a fetascope is an ancient instrument and tried to make me feel that my views on dopplers were loony. I figured if there was a fetascope hanging around , i'd rather use that.  Do I not have a say in what I want and don't want?  She ended up telling me that maybe her practice was not right for me.
post #2 of 27

Ugh. Frankly, it sounds like her practice isn't right for most. You are the patient and have a right to what you want.

post #3 of 27

Of course you have a say, it's your body, your baby, and your money! Maybe a midwife would be more open to the idea than an OB? Because fetascopes aren't in regular use anymore, it might be tough to find someone who still uses one. My midwives said they would be open to the idea of using one, but they'd have to find one first. I thought it was nice that they were willing to make that effort :)

 

Keep searching, and you'll find a good fit, whether it be with an OB or a midwife!

post #4 of 27

I know my midwife offers it upfront as an option.

I think your Ob is right about one thing, hers is not the right practice for you if you are treated like that.

post #5 of 27

Some midwives don't even do the fetascope, but won't be uppity about it if they don't. Great that you found out early the lack of respect you get with that doc. My 2nd baby reacted poorly to Doppler, heartrate always spiked with it and he would kick and squirm a lot, so my mw used the Pinard horn (talk about ancient tech there) and got good steady rates. My current mw doesn't have a fetascope so keeps the checks on Doppler short for me.

post #6 of 27
For those who want their providers who don't have one to use a fetoscope, you could always purchase one (they are as inexpensive as $15-30) and bring it with you.
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 

Yes,   I purchased a fetoscope online one the day before my appointment and the doctor had the nerve to tell me that the only place I could find a fetoscope would probably be in a museum.  Anyway,  she said a midwife would be more on my level, which she is probably right.  I thought if I found a good doctor that was ok with what I wanted that I wouldn't need to look into midwives since I have no idea how to start looking for one.  This, all because I didn't want her to keep using her fancy machine on me. 

post #8 of 27
My home birth midwife only uses a Doppler during labor since she can get the heartbeat quickly with that device and not interfere with the labor process by having to ask me to lie still and quiet. But during all other appointments she uses the fetoscope.
The kind of doc you want is out there you might just have to start really hunting, scour the Internet and local moms with similar views and then go interview the docs.
Good luck
post #9 of 27

As a patient you have a right to ask for what you want but not to get it if the doctor does not feel that the treatment is warranted.  Doctor is also is not obliged to provide a treatment that she finds too risky, harmful , or not scientifically sound.

 

Fetoscope is an outdated piece of technology . There is reason why it is not longer used. You can;t force you doctor to use it more than you can force your doctor to bleed you as treatment of a common cold.

 

You can simply refuse a Doppler and have visits without it.

 

Also, go to your local Health Library and ask a librarian to find you peer reviewed studies about Dopplers and if there is in fact any real danger

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm not looking to become an expert on ultrasounds, for now I don't feel totally comfortable with the techonology and would like to avoid it if at all possible, I already had an transvaginal one and had a doppler used on me 3 x and I feel that that was unecessary exposure to high frequency sound waves that I don't feel have given me any benefits. 

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

As a patient you have a right to ask for what you want but not to get it if the doctor does not feel that the treatment is warranted.  Doctor is also is not obliged to provide a treatment that she finds too risky, harmful , or not scientifically sound.

Fetoscope is an outdated piece of technology . There is reason why it is not longer used. You can;t force you doctor to use it more than you can force your doctor to bleed you as treatment of a common cold.

You can simply refuse a Doppler and have visits without it.

Also, go to your local Health Library and ask a librarian to find you peer reviewed studies about Dopplers and if there is in fact any real danger

Are you serious? Do you even know what a fetoscope is? It's simply a stethoscope which is specially constructed in order to slightly amplify the sound of the baby's heartbeat so that it can be heard at an earlier gestation. It's the exact same technology as a stethoscope. There is nothing "risky, harmful, or not scientifically sound" about it. It's the same "technology" that will be used on the baby immediately after birth in order to hear the heartbeat - with a stethoscope. It is used to assess the fetal heart rate, which is the same thing a Doppler is used for. Actually, one additional benefit is that it allows the practitioner to be more specific about where the heartbeat is located because you can't pick up the heartbeat from multiple place in the abdomen like you can with a Doppler so it makes it easier to confirm a breech or vertex position. It takes more skill to use than a Doppler and you have to actually count the heartbeat and multiply it appropriately to get the bpm, which makes it less convenient than the nice bpm readout you get on a Doppler. You've fallen into the "newer is better" trap, which in this case is simply not true.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

As a patient you have a right to ask for what you want but not to get it if the doctor does not feel that the treatment is warranted.  Doctor is also is not obliged to provide a treatment that she finds too risky, harmful , or not scientifically sound.

Fetoscope is an outdated piece of technology . There is reason why it is not longer used. You can;t force you doctor to use it more than you can force your doctor to bleed you as treatment of a common cold.

You can simply refuse a Doppler and have visits without it.

Also, go to your local Health Library and ask a librarian to find you peer reviewed studies about Dopplers and if there is in fact any real danger
Huh? Or, you could just google that info. (Scratches head). Alenushka, perhaps you should use google to learn more about fetascopes. They are just stethoscopes that are designed to hear the baby more easily. A health care provider could also use a stethoscope . They have to risk whatsoever! Maybe they're a bit cold on the skin...
post #13 of 27

All pieces of medical equipment, regardless of how simple or complex they are, require training and skill.  If an OB has not been trained in the use of a fetoscope and does not have sufficient experience with a fetoscope to feel comfortable in using it to accurately assess fetal heart rates, then he/she is being perfectly reasonable to refuse to use one.  

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnra View Post

All pieces of medical equipment, regardless of how simple or complex they are, require training and skill.  If an OB has not been trained in the use of a fetoscope and does not have sufficient experience with a fetoscope to feel comfortable in using it to accurately assess fetal heart rates, then he/she is being perfectly reasonable to refuse to use one.  

I don't disagree with that. However, comparing it to bleeding someone for a common cold is a bit much.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

I just received my fetoscope in the mail today and I was able to find the heart beat after just a few minutes.  At first I was only able to hear my intestines squrming and then there it was!   It sounded exactly like with the doppler except much lower sound. 

post #16 of 27

I have not found any real evidence that dopplers have any negative impact on the health of a baby in any way (see here:http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1361972/doppler-moms-share-some-infoz#post_17109802 if you want to read a discussion on the topic), but I'd say the concern here is not the doppler but your doctor's attitude toward you. At first I assumed that you're relatively early in your pregnancy to be having this discussion for the first time but you have to be a good 18 to 20 weeks along to hear a hb on a fetoscope, as I understand it, so maybe you're around halfway? Regardless, I would say that this discussion is a good indication that this doctor is not for you.

 

You don't want to be in labour and have to argue with her about something that you believe in but she doesn't, so it's best to look for someone better matched to you sooner rather than later.

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnra View Post

All pieces of medical equipment, regardless of how simple or complex they are, require training and skill.  If an OB has not been trained in the use of a fetoscope and does not have sufficient experience with a fetoscope to feel comfortable in using it to accurately assess fetal heart rates, then he/she is being perfectly reasonable to refuse to use one.  

 

It's not rocket science. It's a basically a stethoscope that you use to hear the fetal heartbeat.

 

OP, maybe you would be happier with midwifery care. Heck, I have a fetoscope in my car!

post #18 of 27
So interested in this discussion. Just learning about doppler, had my first one yesterday and it made me nervous. Cant wait to read about sound wave stuff&hope it was safe for baby who kept moving away.
post #19 of 27

missmelancholy - Although you don't agree with the doc (and it sounded like she was pretty condescending), she did you a favor by suggesting that you may not be a good fit for her or her practice.  Better now than in the delivery room.  I am not sure where you are located but there are many sources for finding a midwife or perhaps a natural birth friendly doctor.  For midwives - you may want to start at http://www.mothersnaturally.org/midwives/findAMidwife.php  if you are in North America. You may want to try posting in the "Finding your Tribe" area on Mothering to get some recommendations too.  Good luck!

 

FWIW- my midwives almost always use a fetalscope first and then go to a Doppler if needed (or when in labor).

post #20 of 27

I had an OB with my DD pregnancy use a fetoscope on me. She told me she didn't see any reason for using a doppler when this tool worked just as well and was more reassuring to her than a doppler for many of the reasons listed above.

 

My current midwives have both and asked if I would be ok with a doppler IF the fetoscope didn't work. They asked if it would be ok- that blows my mind. Like I have some control over my body and my childs body... like I am a person capable of making choices.

 

I agree the OB did you a favor by helping you see early on their model of care is not for you. There is a finding your tribe area on mothering where you coudl ask about midwives in your area OP.

 

best of luck!

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