Back at our first appointment, I asked my doctor if I would be crazy to get a doppler. She didn’t directly answer the question, but she seemed to act like yeah, that might be kinda crazy. But, let’s admit it, I am a crazy person. And I ordered one anyway.
The one I chose is the Sonoline B Fetal Doppler, which I ordered from http://www.fetaldoppler.com for $54 dollars. The website, based in Chicago, had a free shipping and other options (I paid for second day, because I wanted to hear the heartbeat before we started sharing the news– I know, paranoid much) and the doppler arrived when I was 9 weeks, 4 days pregnant. The Doppler shipped same day, so I think the free option would be just as good. This is what it looks like:
I got the 3 MHZ option, which is supposed to be more sensitive to pick up early heartbeats. The product came with batteries and a good-sized tube of ultrasound gel (you can also get Aloe Vera Gel which works just as great).
I sat down to use my doppler super excited with my husband. We found a lot of sounds, but didn’t find the heartbeat after about an hour of searching. I gave up and decided to do some YouTube research in the morning.
This was by far the best video I watched: http://youtu.be/cFQfZ754geM
It shared the different sounds (like of your arteries, which make a swooshing sound, and your own heartbeat, which is everywhere in your abdomen and is too slow to be a baby). It’s about 9 minutes long but really helpful to know what you are listening for. After a lot of looking, I was able to find the heartbeat at 9 weeks, 5 days, and it’s really the coolest sound in the world.
Here’s my tips:
1. Go Low: Especially if you are in the first trimester, look low in your pelvic region. Remember your uterus is the size of a baseball to grapefruit (if you’re looking between 8-10 weeks) and baby could be in my case as small as a grape, so you have to be patient and know that baby is probably hanging out low in the belly.
2. Find the swooshing sound on either side of your pelvis– those were kind of my “end lines” and then I made a grid of the rest of my pelvis, basically from pubic bone to about an half inch below my belly button. I started below my belly button, going slowly, and wasn’t afraid to push in the doppler wand. You have to kind of get in there. And since it’s directional, you kind of need to wind it around all directions and slowly.
3. Go slow! Slow and steady wins the race
This girl’s video shows kind of how low to get, and you get to hear the little heartbeat!
All in all, I give the doppler an A+. Not only is it sensitive to pick up the heartbeat at 9 weeks, it’s easy to use, came with batteries and gel, and is all around worth the money for the peace of mind that comes from hearing that sweet heartbeat– it’s a great highlight to the day to say “hi” to my little one. And if you want to say hi– well, just click the link below 😀