What Should I Consider When Choosing a Doppler Rental?

Erin J. Hill

When choosing a fetal Doppler rental, there are a few things you will want to consider before ordering. The type of Doppler you need, how far along you are into your pregnancy, and the reasons why you want the Doppler rental are all things that should be taken into consideration. Once you have these issues sorted out, you can make a more educated and wise decision.

It is important to inform the doctor of a home Doppler device.
It is important to inform the doctor of a home Doppler device.

A fetal Doppler is a device that a medical practitioner glides over a pregnant woman’s belly in order to listen to the fetal heart rate. They work by sending sound pulses into the woman’s abdomen with short pauses in between to pick up any returning sounds. The baby’s heartbeat is picked up, and the Doppler creates a sound by reading the depth of each beat. This means that the sound heard through the Doppler is not the actual sound of the heart beating, but is an accurate representation.

Doppler rentals can enable expecting mothers to listen to their baby's heart rate.
Doppler rentals can enable expecting mothers to listen to their baby's heart rate.

When you choose to get a Doppler rental, it is important that you make sure the product you are paying for is a medical grade fetal Doppler. Anything less may not pick up the heart rate or may give inaccurate results. Either case can lead to unnecessary worrying on the part of the mother if the heart rate seems "off" or cannot be found. Many cheap Doppler imitations are not effective at picking up fetal heart tones in many women.

You should also consider how far along in your pregnancy you are before getting a Doppler rental. Many times the heart cannot be heard until 10, 12, or even 14 weeks gestation. If you are not far enough along yet, the Doppler will not be of any use to you until you are more progressed. Many doctors recommend waiting until 14 weeks before using a fetal Doppler.

Mothers should also consider why they want a Doppler rental in the first place. Many women choose to rent one to offer them some level of reassurance that the baby is doing well. This reason is generally considered valid, although some doctors advise against Doppler rentals for any reason; sometimes a heart rate cannot be heard even if it is there, and readings can often be misread.

Keep in mind that, whether or not you decide to rent a fetal Doppler, proper prenatal care is still necessary and vital to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Even if you find the heartbeat using a Doppler rental, there can still be other underlying problems that your physician may pick up on. Continue all regularly scheduled prenatal visits to ensure you have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

If you do decide to get a Doppler rental, shop around and find the best price you can. Also, be sure to let you doctor know you have a home Doppler and get his or her advice on the proper way to use and read it. This includes knowing the average fetal heart rate, how to position the Doppler for the most accurate readings, and knowing when to call the doctor with concerns. Additionally, you should keep in mind that you may need the permission of your doctor before a Doppler can be rented for home use.

Prenatal care is necessary to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
Prenatal care is necessary to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

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