Is Fetal Doppler Safe?

Fetal Doppler is the magic gadget for first-time moms. This device is used to listen to your baby’s heart beats and monitor it. Magical isn’t it? We know that being a mother, it’s spellbinding to hear your baby’s heart rhythm for the very first time. Even if it’s your second or third child, we (as mothers) completely understand your level of excitement. However, a study featured in Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine says “obstetrics and gynecology resident knowledge of obstetric ultrasound safety is low” all across America. Therefore, here we have a complete guide for those who have just stepped into the world of pregnancy.

Though fetal dopplers are widely utilized yet new-parents are reluctant to use this device. The basic reason lies in misinterpretation of FDA’s (US Food and Drug Administration) comments. Even American Journal of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology guarantees that ultrasound based examination of fetus does not harm baby. The exact words are:

“Ultrasound's record of safety seems to be perfect, with no undisputed reports of adverse effects in humans”.

However, many new-parents have no clue about the usage guidelines and even the purpose of these handy devices. So, here is the story from the beginning!

After almost 8 weeks of a positive pregnancy test, your doctor may recommend you to schedule an initial ultrasound (in some cases the first ultrasound is not performed until the eleventh week). By employing some machines, you would be able to “hear” your baby’s heartbeat. Amazing right? Yes! We know that the sweet sound of a pulsating heart not only gives you affirmation, but also soothes you. Therefore, for most of the parents, it is a common desire to hear it, again and again. As most of you can’t visit a doctor in a loop. For this reason, fetal dopplers are used, as they lighten the burden of regular doctor’s appointments. However, we recommend using these at home, with proper doctor’s consultation and complete training. Although we understand that this device strengthens your emotional bond with your unborn blessed soul, yet we strongly advocate for healthcare instructions laid by the government.

American Scientist Bernstine, R. L. performed clinical study of 720 obstetric patients and after thoroughly examining their tissue culture, he concluded that fetal dopplers are safe to use. In his words:

“Doppler inspection of the fetus, as presently practiced, is not hazardous to mother or fetus”

Thus, no scientific evidence is available which proves the harms of using fetal dopplers, that is why the device is considered safe to use. Moreover, these devices utilize sound-waves to calculate the heart rate of fetal babies, and no radiation is involved in the entire process, therefore, these are not harmful to babies. However, do not expose your fetal baby to even sound-waves for prolonged periods as baby tissues are fragile. Thus, all devices should be used cautiously during pregnancy.

Fetal dopplerSafe

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