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Baby Heartbeat Monitor Allows You To Listen To Your Unborn Baby Sounds

Updated on May 24, 2009

Baby Heartbeat Monitors for Early Pregnancy

After suffering a miscarriage at 10 weeks, my husband and I found out we were expecting again a few months later. Since I was so worried about being pregnant again and the possibility of another miscarriage), I decided to use a baby heartbeat monitor, known also as fetal doppler, to ease my fears.

Many pregnant women, especially those who previously suffered a miscarriage or are facing a high risk pregnancy, are worried throughout their pregnancy about the health of their unborn child. Especially during the early weeks of your pregnancy, when you cannot feel any movement yet, you may keep wondering - is everything ok?

For me, renting a baby heart monitor for the first trimester of my pregnancy was a great comfort. Because of the miscarriage a few months earlier, I had a constant fear that this time may be the same. Whenever I fealt really worried, I would use the monitor to make sure everything was OK, that my baby was still there, alive and well.

Apart from the feeling of reassurance that my baby is OK, hearing the sound of his heart beating was simply AMAZING!

There are many types of baby heartbeat monitors and several different brands. Some models are only allowed to be used in the doctors office, and others can be used by mothers in their own home. You can choose to purchase one as the prices have become more affordable today, or simply rent one online for a few weeks or months.

I don't remember exactly which brand I used, but renting one was really simple.I made some research on the Internet, found a few sites, picked one, placed my order, and the monitor was shipped to me within a couple of days.

My son at 21 weeks
My son at 21 weeks

Baby Heartbeat Monitor Features

  • Hear and record baby's movements, heartbeat or hiccups.
  • Listen to the sound of your baby with your spouse, family and friends.
  • Measures heartbeat of baby 
  • Some monitors allow you to listen to baby as early as 8 to 10 weeks into your pregnancy, some can be used after the 12th week of pregnancy, still other allow you to hear baby's movements from about the 21st week of pregnancy 
  • Some models provide visual feedback of the heartbeat on the special digital heart rate display
  • Some models of baby heartbeat monitors provide the ability to record heartbeats on your computer. When I was pregnant five years ago, I rented just a simple model without such capability, and I simply recorded my son's heartbeat on tape; but I guess it will be really cool to be able to make a digital recording and share it over the computer with my family.
  • You can also record your own heartbeat to soothe your newborn.
  • Small, lightweight design makes it easy to take with you when you travel.
  • The monitors require batteries.

My son after birth
My son after birth

How does the baby heartbeat monitor work?

Baby heartbeat monitors, also known as fetal doppler monitors are devices used to listen to the heartbeat of a baby during pregnancy. They provide a non-invasive way to detect and measure a baby heart rates during pregnancy.

The way a baby heartbeat monitor works is based on the “doppler effect”, that refers to the variation of the sound pitch as the source moves toward or away from the listener. A good example would be the sound of a car or a train driving by.

Baby heartbeat monitors use two crystals placed on the transducer (which will be pressed against your belly), one of which emits ultrasonic waves, and the other detects the waves. The waves reach the moving tissue of the heart, and detect the movement of flesh, and bounce back with a slightly different tone. The tones are then amplified, so that whoever wishes to listen, can hear the sounds of an unborn baby, including the beating of the heart. 

The monitors are extremely easy to use. Here is what you will have to do:

  1. Spread some special gel onto your abdomen. (You can purchase the gel when you order the monitor.)
  2. Turn on the baby heartbeat monitor
  3. Press the transducer gently against the abdomen
  4. Search for heartbeat (it will sound like hoof beats of a galloping horse)

All brands of baby heartbeat monitors are similar, so these instructions should work with any monitor you choose. Of course, if you have any questions or you just cannot get it right, you can always contact the customer support, read the manual, or ask your doctor. There may be a simple thing you are doing incorrectly that is giving false results.

Popular Models of Baby Heartbeat Monitors

You can find many models of baby heartbeat monitors online. Below I give you just a few examples of popular models. The prices range from 25 to 150 US dollars, typically the cheaper models work later in the pregnancy. You can rent a good OB quality doppler monitor for under $20-40 per month.

The BellyBeats Fetal Doppler can detect your unborn baby's heartbeat as early as 8 to 10 weeks into your pregnancy. Its pre-angled probe makes it quicker and easier to locate your baby’s heartbeat. You determine your baby's heart rate by simply counting the beats of your baby's heart for 10 seconds and multiplying the number of beats by 6 to get heartbeats per minute.

The BellyBeats Digital Fetal Doppler Baby Heart Monitor is the same as the BellyBeats Fetal Doppler Baby Heart Monitor with the added convenience of a digital display. You do not have to count the heartbeats to determine your baby's heart rate, as it calculates the heart rate for you and gives you a digital readout. It will detect your unborn baby's heartbeat as early as 8 to 10 weeks into your pregnancy. The Digital Fetal Heart Doppler uses a technology known as Static Suppression Doppler (SSD) that provides a static-free signal for maximum clarity.

The Babycom Home Doppler Fetal Heartbeat Monitor ($145) is a state-of-the art fetal monitor that can be used from the 12th week of pregnancy.

Sonotrax Basic LCD Fetal Doppler Baby Heart Monitor w/ 3MHz Probe ($150 on Amazon) A 3mhz probe is useful in picking up a heartbeat in the early weeks of the first trimester (usually around 10-12 weeks) and can be used throughout pregnancy. Sonotrax Basic is a high performance model with FHR digital LCD display. Has audio output through speakers, also can be connected with earphone.

Bebe Sounds Prenatal Heart Listener (about $28 US) allows you to hear and record baby's movements, heartbeat or hiccups. Can be used as from 5th month of pregnancy. The kit includes the recording cable.

Deluxe Prenatal Heart Listening System (about $25) offers high sound quality and sensitivity. It safely and easily allows you to hear baby's movements from about the 21st week of pregnancy (and, unlike ultrasound, emits no energy to you or baby). Kit includes sensor, belt, headphones, instructional CD and instructions. There's even a stereo cable so you can record each miraculous sound.

Baby's Heart Beat!- Not my video, but almost made me cry!


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      shellyfield 7 years ago

      now days you can just use an iPhone app to monitor the baby's heartbeat (on your last trimester), without the need of Dopler,stethoscope or other expensive devices.

      It requires only the iPhone mic and a set of headphones.

      First I was worried about cellular communication around my baby, but you just switch the iPhone to "AIRPLANE MODE" which shuts down all communication.

      i tried it and it really worked. you can see

      or the video