cannot find heart beat with stethascope - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-16-2008, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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how do you spell stethascope? anyway, i can't find the baby's heart beat with one, and no one else (family/friends) can find it. Is that normal? Do those 30$ dopplers work better? should i get one?

is it totally horrible if i can never find the baby's postion before going into labor? (i'm 34 weeks--have time).

recently i have to pee like literally every 10 minutes. does that mean anything? i don't know where the bladder is...?
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Old 10-16-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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I had a hard time with one of my pregnancies. Fetoscopes seem to work better than stethoscopes IMO. I think her placenta may have been anterior which may be your issue as well. Having to go to the bathroom a lot is also common towards the end with the amount of weight you have resting on your bladder.

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Old 10-16-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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For me, the stethoscope had to be directly on the baby's back and it had to be SILENT in the room to hear it. Even then, it was very faint and light and peaceful. Not at all like a doppler sound. HTH!
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Old 10-16-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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i did the leopold maneuver on myself and found the back. when i showed him, my husband was able to hear the heartbeat at 21 weeks with a stethoscope.

try it out!
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Old 10-16-2008, 04:06 PM
 
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As long as baby's moving fine, I wouldn't worry about it--it's such a soft noise anyway that I think you're probably just missing it because you're expecting something louder. At my 32 week visit my midwife (not a UC'er here) found the heartbeat with a fetoscope, and I could hear it okay too, but at my 30 week visit she found it and I couldn't hear it at all. By around 36 weeks your DH can probably hear the heartbeat by putting his head on your stomach where the baby's back is.

As for checking positioning, do you ever feel hiccups? If you do that's where the baby's upper back/head is. And the spinningbabies website can help you figure out the position. You can also try poking around a bit if you have BH contractions as your uterus tightens around the baby and (at least for me) I can feel the butt and back quite clearly on one side when I have a BH, and occasionally I feel a little bit of hardness on the opposite side where the legs & feet are (I'm 33.5 weeks).
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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Are you peeing a lot? Or just a little bit? If it's a lot, maybe you're drinking more water than you absolutely need to. If it's small amounts, you may have a UTI. The only time I've felt the urge to go so often (when there doesn't seem to be enough in there to justify that urge) was when I had an infection. Well, an in late labor when then the baby was pressing on my bladder.
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Old 10-16-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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I found I pee more when my babies are breech : The head engaging was always a relief.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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Old 10-16-2008, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my peeing has subsided. i did drink more (water) than usual yesterday--went out for decaf with a friend and talked and talked and drank and drank water. about the hickups, i posted about that a few weeks ago, and said i felt them down low on my left side. but 2 people said that they can be felt there even if the baby is breech.......but i feel it really, really low down there. also,when is the head suppose to engage again? at the earliest?
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:15 AM
 
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the head can engage pretty early in some moms... sometimes in the 8th months... sometimes not tilin labour. it totally depends. one of mine never engaged and one in the end of the 8th month - I knew it b/c it felt like the bab's head was about to fall out of me and i had to walk with my legs slightly apart. some peole just say it feel heavier in the lower uterus and lighter in the upper... I guess it's different for everyone. also different b/c it could be at different stations too.

so maybe I'm making you more confused by my answer lol

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Old 10-17-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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Please take this in the very gentle way that it is meant...

If you don't know where your bladder is, or why you have to pee more now, are you sure that UC is your best choice?

I mean, I've had two UCs, but I educated myself as much as I could (besides the fact that I used to be an apprentice/assistant midwife).

I just don't feel that UC should be entered into lightly, that is a very dangerous course of action.

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Old 10-17-2008, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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hum, well, thanks that really didn't help much even if it is was meant to be gentle. i assume you knew it would sting, but what does it matter. My last birth was a UC, my BA is in the anthropology of childbirth and i had a CPM as an outside evaluator. i've been studying birth for years now...i'm no EXPERT, but i didn't know you had to be to have a baby...?! isn't that the point? I certainly didn't mean for my question to come off as STUPID...what i was trying to say was...if you have to pee really, really often, not just often could it be some clue as to where the baby is.....
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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wow! thanks guys, i'll be sure not to post here again.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:38 PM
 
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You have a BA in anthro of childbirth? Wow, I've never heard of such a thing. Which university offers a BA in the anthropology of childbirth? I'm an anthro major myself.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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marlboro college in vermont. the majors are self designed.
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:01 AM
 
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That sounds cool! How are you feeling?
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:02 AM
 
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Oh, and have you heard of the spinning babies site? It's supposed to help you determine the position of your baby. For what it's worth, I never could find the HB with a steth - I got a used baby sounds monitor thing on eBay and used that.
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks--yeah, i'm looking at that site right now
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:06 AM
 
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I was really looking forward to finding my babe's heartbeat and listening at home...you know, all that sentimental, reassuring stuff...

But no matter what I did, I couldn't get a good heartbeat. And then we went to an U/S and there it was, strong and obvious.

Maybe I'm just doomed to not be competent enough to figure it out....I also think stethoscopes might not be strong enough, especially the cheapies.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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Old 10-18-2008, 03:24 AM
 
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I'm a lay MW and I can't always hear a heartbeat with a stethoscope. I've also found that when a stethoscope doesn't pick up the heartbeat, a pinard horn will. - you can fashion a make-shift pinard horn from an old toilet roll. take the cardboard roll, hold one end firmly to your ear (well, not *your* ear - you need an assistant, unless you're VERY flexible ) and press the other firmly into the abdomen, approximately where you suspect the baby;s back to be. usually low down. press as firmly as you need to get a good seal around your ear and the belly, and try a few spots on the belly if you don't hear it first time. believe it or not, I've had great success with this

that said, I really wouldn't worry about it at all. if you can feel the baby move, then it's fine. during labour, plenty of people who UC (and even MWs) don't check FHTs. sure, a doppler would give you a better sound, but do you really want to expose your baby to the radiation? anyways, you can buy a proper fetascope very cheaply off amazon. they look like a regular stethoscope only the attachment is a little different. search for "fetascope" or "fetal stethoscope"

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Old 10-18-2008, 04:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
I'm a lay MW and I can't always hear a heartbeat with a stethoscope. I've also found that when a stethoscope doesn't pick up the heartbeat, a pinard horn will. - you can fashion a make-shift pinard horn from an old toilet roll. take the cardboard roll, hold one end firmly to your ear (well, not *your* ear - you need an assistant, unless you're VERY flexible ) and press the other firmly into the abdomen, approximately where you suspect the baby;s back to be. usually low down. press as firmly as you need to get a good seal around your ear and the belly, and try a few spots on the belly if you don't hear it first time. believe it or not, I've had great success with this

that said, I really wouldn't worry about it at all. if you can feel the baby move, then it's fine. during labour, plenty of people who UC (and even MWs) don't check FHTs. sure, a doppler would give you a better sound, but do you really want to expose your baby to the radiation? anyways, you can buy a proper fetascope very cheaply off amazon. they look like a regular stethoscope only the attachment is a little different. search for "fetascope" or "fetal stethoscope"

For real? Hahaha!

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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Old 10-18-2008, 04:07 AM
 
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um yeah. for real. try it.

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Old 10-18-2008, 04:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post
um yeah. for real. try it.

No disrespect, I just think it's really cute! I can imagine one of my siblings trying this.

Duh, sometimes it's the simple things in life that work the best!


And I am going to try, lol. I will have to go about doing this without telling DH what is going on. Hahaha, he will be giving me funny looks.

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Old 10-18-2008, 04:30 AM
 
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yep!
so who will you get to try it with if not your DH?
besides; it's recycling!

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Old 10-18-2008, 04:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by majikfaerie View Post

yep!
so who will you get to try it with if not your DH?
besides; it's recycling!
I figure I should choose someone for the funny factor...like my teen brother. And let him in on it so he really acts the part.

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Old 10-18-2008, 05:06 AM
 
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classic! let us know how it goes

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Old 10-18-2008, 01:13 PM
 
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i wouldn't use a stethoscope but rather a fetoscope or like a PP mentioned, a pinard horn. i can usually hear the heartbeat with a fetoscope from 20 weeks onwards.

and just a little heads up to SevenVeils. when i read the first post, i actually had the same thought "if one can't tell where their own bladder is, then maybe they are not the best candidate for a UC". i mean, birth is natural and i wholeheartedly agree with the not having to be an expert to give birth.. but that said, you should at least know basic body parts (and yes, the bladder is a basic body part - it's an organ).
i don't think she meant any disrespect and to be honest, your original post screamed out that you were not very informed about the body in general. it doesn't matter what you claim to have studied 10 posts down the track, what matters is what she was responding to. for someone who has been studying birth for years, i am surprised that you would go from a stethoscope straight to a doppler without considering/knowing about a fetoscope.

Quote:
"what i was trying to say was...if you have to pee really, really often, not just often could it be some clue as to where the baby is....."
not always. the reduced space in general is enough to have you peeing every 10 minutes. at 10 weeks with this pregnancy, i noticed i would go toilet every hour almost on the dot. i had no UTI but the increasing size of the womb was already putting pressure on my small bladder.

anyway, i've said enough. best of luck with the birth.
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Old 10-19-2008, 01:17 AM
 
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Just curious, but do you have any idea what kind of sound you're listening for? The fetal heartbeat in utero doesn't sound like what we think of a heartbeat as. It's possible you've heard it & didn't realize. A midwife once told me it sounds like a watch ticking under a pillow. Personally, I think it sounds kind of like a train rumbling on a track that is almost out of hearing range, a bit closer the further you get but still more like a train than the 'lub dub, lub dub' sound we tend to think of as a heartbeat.

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Old 10-19-2008, 03:08 AM
 
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Any luck, mama?
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Old 10-19-2008, 07:00 AM
 
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Hello,

I removed several posts debating the safety of ultrasounds and doppler from this thread as it was not helping the OP and was taking the thread off-topic. If one wishes to discuss that topic please post a thread in Birth and Beyond to do so, it doesn't belong in threads asking for assistance.

Also, please focus on the OP's situation. The UC forum does not require everyone agree but if you cannot post nice please don't.

Thanks.

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Old 10-19-2008, 07:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post
Just curious, but do you have any idea what kind of sound you're listening for? The fetal heartbeat in utero doesn't sound like what we think of a heartbeat as. It's possible you've heard it & didn't realize. A midwife once told me it sounds like a watch ticking under a pillow. Personally, I think it sounds kind of like a train rumbling on a track that is almost out of hearing range, a bit closer the further you get but still more like a train than the 'lub dub, lub dub' sound we tend to think of as a heartbeat.
or a horse galloping. i actually love the sound of the fetal heartbeat using a fetoscope. the doppler makes the sound really ugly and distorted, like a drum with lots of static around it, pounding.
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