Fetal Heart Dopplers Q&A

What is a fetal doppler? Is it safe to use at home?

The Sweetie Song Fetal Doppler is a hand-held ultrasound transducer used to detect the fetal heartbeat for prenatal care. The fetal probe uses the Doppler Effect (high frequency sound waves) to provide an audible simulation of the heartbeat. This product is CE certified and FDA approved and safe to use at home. Hand-held dopplers are thought to be perfectly safe, if used according to the guidelines.  Some doctors and midwifes shy away from promoting at home use, because they believe only certified technicians and professionals should operate such equipment. We provide a manual with equipment details and use a reputable Manufacturing company to produce our product.  In addition, we have a dedicated customer service and technical support team to answer any inquiries you may have or provide supplemental resources.

Is it safe to use the fetal heart doppler regularly or should it be limited?

Mayo Clinic states: "Ultrasound has been routinely used in obstetrics for more than 30 years. There's no scientific evidence of any harmful effects to the fetus from the use of ultrasound during pregnancy. It's considered a very safe procedure for both the mother and the fetus." They also say that "Because it doesn't involve potentially harmful radiation, ultrasound is safe for both mother and baby."

Numerous tests are continually conducted by manufacturers and the U.S. government relegation agencies. Past results have indicated no adverse side effects. It is commonly recommended that like everything in life moderation is the best policy.

When using your fetal doppler it is suggested that you use it in short intervals, infrequently, and following the first trimester. As a general rule an exam with a fetal doppler should never last longer than 10 minutes. If you don't find baby's heartbeat in this period of time, take a break. If you are concerned contact your health care provider. If not, try again in a few days. Finding a heartbeat can be difficult at first, practice patience while operating.  Reach out to our dedicated customer service team if you have any questions or concerns.

Why do you have to use ultrasound gel?

The ultrasound gel is needed in order to create a barrier between the fetal doppler probe and the expected mother’s stomach.  The doppler works by using high frequency sound waves into the body (doppler waves) to detect audio sound, i.e. fetal heartbeat.  We provide a starter 1.0 oz bottle of ultrasound gel included with purchase.

I ran out of ultrasound gel, can I substitute another product to use as a barrier?

Yes. Ultrasound gel is relatively inexpensive and can be purchased online or your local pharmacy.  However, you can use Original KY Jelly Lubricant (or similar brand) or clear Aloe Vera gel.

When can I start using a fetal heart doppler?

As a general rule, from week 12 of the pregnancy on.  Some can detect as early as 10 weeks. An important note is to remember that everyone is different, so not finding your baby's heartbeat early isn't a reason for concern. On average, most women are able to hear the fetal heartbeat from the 14th week on.

Why did my fetal heart doppler turn off?

In order to save battery, the fetal doppler will turn off automatically after 1 minute if not used. The unit will not turn back on. Please check the probe connection and make sure the battery is fully charged.

What is the average fetal heart beat?

A fetal heart rate is usually between 120 and 160 beats per minute, which is much faster than an adult’s. The baby's normal fetal heart rate will also vary normally, just as your heart rate does. Movement, sleeping and other activities can cause a normal variation also outside of the typical range momentarily.  In addition, extra noises, such as the mother's heartbeat or stomach rumbling or static caused by doppler probe movement, can mask the signals causing unreliable doppler measurement.

Can certain conditions affect the fetal doppler measurement?

Absolutely, these are a few conditions that can affect the reliability of the fetal doppler:

  • Smoking tobacco products
  • Drinking or eating large amounts of caffeine can falsely raise the baby's heart rate.
  • Extra noises, such as the mother's heartbeat or stomach rumbling, can mask the signals.
  • Baby is sleeping.
  • Problems associated with the placement of the doppler probe.
  • Baby is moving a lot during the measurement.
  • Pregnant with more than one baby, such as twins or triplets.
Why won't my fetal doppler turn on?

The menu button must be pressed and held until the unit turns on. On average, it takes about 3 seconds to turn on.

Why don't I hear any sound from my fetal heart doppler?

If you have a probe, please make sure it is fully connected. The USB plug should snap into place and be flush with the unit. Check that the volume dial is turned up. You can tap on the probe to test the sound.

What are the benefits of using the fetal heart doppler?

Fetal dopplers can help reduce anxiety during pregnancy and offer reassurance especially during the early stages before it is even possible to feel the baby moving. Listening to the fetal heartbeat is also a great way for a parent-to-be to bond with their unborn baby.