I use my hands, mostly the palms and my fingers all together (not finger tips) to pres in and push the baby back and fourth between my hands, some people call this ballottment (though I'm not 100% sure that's correct useage of the term, could be). I tried to look up Leopold's Maneuvers and this is all I could get: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopold's_Maneuvers
They are the various things you do with your hands to determine how the baby is laying in the uterus. It doesn't hurt, especially when you do them to yourself.
With my first pregnancy I could feel everything, I grabbbed his little head and butt all the time. This time it's more dificult--anterior placenta may be the reason, but anyway I palpate first so that I know where to start looking for the heartbeat. My skills have definitly improved, I can feel the baby and put the scope right where it needs to be for hearing the heartbeat.
I don't remember if you have a midwife or doc or what. If you do don't they palpate the baby?