How to Hear the Fetal Heartbeat at Home

How to Hear the Fetal Heartbeat at Home


Hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time is a miraculous and exciting moment. Listening to the heartbeat can give doctors important information about your baby’s health and hearing the heartbeat can provide assurance that the baby is growing as she should.

here are several ways to listen to the fetal heartbeat that can be done at home:


Use a Stethoscope 

The stethoscope is a common medical tool used to amplify internal noises, especially for your heart and lungs. This trusty device is also good for listening to babies in utero. You can hear the baby’s heartbeat at about 18 to 20 weeks, depending on maternal and fetal factors like the weight of mom, the position of your baby, and the location of the placenta.


The Pinard Horn

The Pinard horn is an older fetal listening device. The flat end is placed in the ear of the practitioner while the horn part is used to move around the pregnant mother’s abdomen. This is used to listen directly to the baby through the mother’s body with no use of electricity or power. The Pinard horn can be used from about 18 to 20 weeks of pregnancy.  It is not as common at prenatal care appointments.

The Fetoscope 

The fetoscope is the modern combination of both the stethoscope and the Pinard horn. It uses the practitioner’s forehead to conduct sound and has a more modern look, is made of metal and plastic compared to the wooden Pinard horn. It does not use ultrasound.he fetoscope is designed to be used on a pregnant mom. The lower end fetoscopes tend to work just as well as the more expensive brands. The main difference between the fetoscope and stethoscope is that most fetoscopes use the forehead to conduct sound to help you hear the baby, often giving better results to the user.

The Fetal Doppler  (Fetal monitor)

Talk to your doctor about what type of exam he will use to hear the heartbeat. Typically, you will first hear the sound when your doctor or technician uses a fetal doppler, which uses sound waves to amplify the heartbeat. You will lie down on an exam table and the doctor will move a small probe on the surface of your stomach. This is a painless procedure and can usually detect the baby’s heartbeat at nine to 10 weeks, sometimes it takes 12 weeks to easily detect it.

Learn the factors that affect the sound

Even when you are using the proper tools, there are many reasons that you may not be able to detect the fetal heartbeat yourself. It’s important to know that things such as the baby’s position and your weight can impact whether or not you will clearly hear a heartbeat. If you feel there is a reason to be concerned, make sure to contact your healthcare provider right away

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