Can you hear a baby's heartbeat with a stethoscope?
One of the most exciting and reassuring things to hear during your pregnancy is the sound of your baby’s heartbeat. A baby’s heartbeat will first be detectable by an ultrasound around twelve weeks, however it is not until about week 20 of pregnancy that a baby’s heartbeat will be developed enough to detect with a stethoscope. Once you reach this point in pregnancy, you may not have to wait until your next appointment to hear your baby’s heartbeat.
If you’ve never purchased a stethoscope or don’t know anything about stethoscopes, don’t worry we’ve got you covered. One of our agents would be happy to help you choose the right stethoscope. Although you may not use this stethoscope in the long run, purchasing a higher quality stethoscope will have features that give you an advantage in hearing your baby's heartbeat.
How to hear your baby's heartbeat with a stethoscope
When you’re ready to hear your baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope, make sure you are in a quiet room so that you will be able to hear more easily and find a comfortable place to sit down.
You may have an idea of where your baby is positioned but if you don’t, place your hand on your belly feeling for a firmer area. If you can locate the back of your baby, this is the optimal place to hear their heartbeat.
To use the stethoscope, listen with the eartips facing away from you. The headset will be pre angled to direct the sound into the ear canal. With an MDF Instruments® stethoscope, you can tighten or loosen the headset for a more comfortable fit. Place the chestpiece on your stomach where you think the baby is located. Make sure the green indicator dot on the stem of the chestpiece is facing the side of the chestpiece that you are using and is against your stomach.
Don’t panic if you don’t hear anything or you hear lots of things. Remember this is only one method of listening to a heartbeat that is safe to try at home, but it’s not always guaranteed depending on the baby’s position or developmental stage in pregnancy. Placenta placement may also impact your ability to position the stethoscope close enough to your baby’s heart.
Hearing your baby’s heartbeat is a great way for you and family members to connect with your baby, but remember that your OB-GYN is the pro. Leave any diagnosis to them and ask for their advice on any doubts you may have or other recommendations to connect with your new baby.
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