Doptone/Dopple during labor and delivery? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-09-2011, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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My midwife insists on using doppler for monitoring heartbeat during l&d. Reason being it would be hard to use a fetoscope during this time. Is this normal? I've originally decided to forgo U/S and doppler and being very conservative on this front, and so I'm wondering if I should do this.


What were other homebirthing mama's experience? Thanks!

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#2 of 8 Old 02-09-2011, 01:41 PM
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The mw I work with prefers to use Doppler during labor as well, for a couple reasons.  First, in order to get a good reading on heart tones with a fetoscope, most of the time mama needs to be on her back, and doing that during or even between a contraction doesn't seem appealing.  Also, to check heart rate in the water, you really need to use a Doppler, since getting a fetoscope to the right place would be virtually impossible.  Hope that helps explain.

Fledgling midwife on hiatus, Wife to B, mama to C (c/s ribboncesarean.gif 12/04) and S hbac.gif (12/07), angel3.gif m/c (3/12) and expecting another bean 6/13 stork-suprise.gif.

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#3 of 8 Old 02-09-2011, 02:55 PM
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I agree with the previous poster.  A doppler is quicker and easier and that's what I wanted in labor.  Other questions you can ask your midwife are:

How often is she planning on monitoring you?  If you want it to be less frequent, then maybe you won't mind adjusting your positioning to allow for use of the fetoscope, but if you and she are both planning on more frequent checks, it might be annoying.


How long does she listen for? Just a quick check? During and after a contraction?


Mama to P. born at home 10/09, and W. born in the hospital 2/13

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#4 of 8 Old 02-10-2011, 09:37 AM
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I agree. My midwife only used the doppler maybe twice throughout my 2 hr labor, and it was just to make sure baby wasn't in distress. She would only use it long enough to get a steady reading, so maybe 14-20 seconds each time. 

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#5 of 8 Old 02-10-2011, 11:13 AM
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I am also fine with no doppler during pregnancy but am not comfortable agreeing to not use it during labor. It's hard to listen during a contraction, and once you lose it can be hard to find again, so that you're not able to monitor how the baby's heart rate responds to a contraction.


I understand your concern about continued doppler and ultrasound use during pregnancy, but how much effect can it have in the last few hours before birth?

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#6 of 8 Old 02-12-2011, 08:36 PM
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I've opted out of doppler use (and ultrasound) during pregnancy the last couple of times (including this one), but agreed if needed we could use a doppler in labor.  Last time the midwife never even got it out in labor.. it never came up.  So you might ask if she just wants you to know that's what she'd use if she was concerned, or if she plans to check at certain intervals or what?

Rae 27 DH Phillip 32 married 11-22-03
DS1 Nathaniel b. 11-21-04, DS2 Ian b. 9-8-06, DS3 Samuel b. 10-1-08, DS4 Peter b. 5-24-11

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#7 of 8 Old 02-13-2011, 08:33 PM
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I want my midwife to be A} relaxed and comfortable knowing that everything is going well and B} not present very much.  so i feel the doppler will allow her to be in and out and also not worried, thus more comfortable to stay out of the way.  for me the doppler is just fine

Angela: Catholic Homeschooling Mom to Sierra(11/00), twins Addison & Kendall(3/03), Jack(4/06), Brielle (7/08), Levi (2/2011); due with#7 (9/13). Birthed every witch C section. VbAC. Unassisted water birth (hypno/painless). Assisted waterbirth to an almost 10lber! (Not painless!)
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#8 of 8 Old 02-16-2011, 06:41 PM
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My midwives also preferred to use a hand held doppler during l&d, but were quick to say we could use a fetoscope instead if that's what I wanted. 

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