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Doppler vs. Fetaloscope...What do you Use?

674 Views 10 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  phoebekate
I'll start by saying I am completely conflicted. I interviewed my midwife today (or at least the woman who is likely to be my midwife) and asked her to "Doppler" me, as this was my first appointment this pregnancy and I wanted to hear the heartbeat. But, generally speaking I am against the routine use of a Doppler and ultrasound.

On one hand, I LOVE hearing my babies heartbeat gives some piece of mind that things are o.k., I'm "really" pregnant, etc. On the other, a Doppler unit is a mini sonogram and is essencially an ultrasound without the picture. If I am against the use of u/s, I "should" be equally against the Doppler, and yet I REALLY like to hear the heartbeat...thus my quandry. Do I get over my need to hear the heartbeat at future appointments and tell her use the fetaloscope? Do I convince myself that a little microwave won't hurt anything, just so I can have the audio piece of mind?

So, what do you do? I am especially looking for feedback from mamas who are against the routine use of u/s in pregnancy...
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I'm not a a proponent of U/S unless medically indicated and appropriate in specific circumstances. That said, I did have my mw Doppler me at my first appt this go-round b/c I truly was not believing I was actually pregnant. It was the heartbeat that brought me out of denial
. The mw I use is not a fan of U/S, so we decided to limit the exposure and it was extremely brief. Thumpa thumpa ok, done
. I needed to weigh the pros and cons of exposure---just as we all do when making conscious, informed decisions.

All the best,
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I also am holding out for the fetoscope. I am 23.5 weeks and I am going to try again tomorrow at my prenatal to hear the baby. No worries about the baby's healthy, though....he/she is thumping up a storm in my belly.

I can sum up my feelings about routine U/s and doppler in a sentence or two: It hasn't been proven safe. I cannot do something to my fetus that hasn't been proven safe.

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I don't bother with the heartbeat. I figure, I start feeling flutters around 15-18 weeks, so I know the baby is in there, is active, and apparently healthy. SO I tend to go by movement more than heartbeat.
I bought one of those BebeSounds headphone-fetoscope thingies last time, and tried to find a heartbeat....but I had to be so quiet to hear anything that I finally gave up.

Now what I don't get is the doppler RENTAL thing, so you can listen to the heartbeat by doppler anytime. That just can't be safe!
Thank you mamas...You are telling me what I instictively know. Part of my obsession with hearing the heartbeat is that I haven't really started quickening. I thought I felt a thump a few weeks ago, but haven't really felt much since. I was so relieved when the mw today found the heartbeat and I felt so guilty for being relieved...sigh

I don't remember having this obsession with my last pregnancy...I was quite resound in my opposition to the Doppler. I think my mw used it less than 5 times over the course of my pregancy...looking for the twin that wasn't there:LOL
You know, I was going to post something the other day asking what the hulabaloo is re: doppler. I've just never heard about it, and I didn't come across an explanation in all the posts that recommended against it. Well,
I had my monthly check-up today. My regular doc is on vacation, and this one pulled out the doppler- I have no idea why- and checked for the heartbeat... I'm 30 weeks pregnant and the baby does somersaults day and night, so there's no question that she's alive and healthy in there... when she pulled it out I told her that some of the ladies I chat with online stay away from it, and I asked her why. She said, while squeezing the jelly on me, "Some people don't do it."
Yeah, duh.... um...
Because doppler IS u/s. And neither has been conclusively proven safe. In fact, there is a lot of data that suggests it is not totally safe for fetuses.

Mealymama: Talk about informed consent!
What a jerk!
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We used the doppler once around 14 weeks because I really needed to hear a heartbeat so that I could stop stressing about whether everything was okay. I'd been bleeding off and on for 6 weeks at that point. But after that my mw just used the fetoscope.
We used the doppler at my first prenatal at 19 weeks because my mom and sister were in town and I wanted them to hear the heartbeat. Then at my second prenatal at 23 weeks, the midwives tried to hear the heartbeat with the fetoscope but had no luck. I wanted to avoid using the doppler because it is a continuous pulse ultrasound wave, but in the moment I decided I wanted to hear the heartbeat with the doppler. Baby made it known that it wasn't his favorite thing and kicked and punched wherever the doppler wand was on my belly. I decided I wouldn't do that again unless medically warranted.

During laboring, I okayed the use of the doppler to monitor baby's heartbeat because it was always a time-intensive task to find the heartbeat with the fetoscope.

I held out for the doppler and MW was able to hear it this week (23 1/2, Katie
) I was having second thoughts until the movement started. So, I wanted to hear the hb (didn't, it was at the end of a practice prenatal class and noone wanted to take the time to help us find it
: ); but, since I was feeling movement it wasn't *too* much of a big deal for peace of mind.
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doppler before quickening, because I did want to hear the heartbeat when I wasn't reliably feeling movement, then fetoscope for the rest of the pregnancy, then doppler for labour because I didn't want to change positions/stay still so they could listen.
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