Babies begin to hear as early as 23 weeks, so many mothers use that opportunity to bond with their child. Many women read or sing to their babies to maintain that connection, but fetal doppler monitors have the added benefit of allowing them to listen to their babies as well.
Fetal doppler monitors are also great for high-risk or complicated pregnancies since they have the added peace of mind of allowing the mother to listen to the heartbeat and ensure it’s normal.
Currently, many fetal doppler monitors are available for home use, and much more affordable than they were at one time. That said, some monitors are more accurate and effective than others, so here are our picks for the best fetal doppler monitors on the market.
Table of Contents
- Best Fetal Doppler Moniter
- Choosing a Fetal Doppler Monitor
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a Fetal Doppler Monitor?
- Why Buy a Fetal Doppler Monitor?
- Should I Buy a Fetal Doppler Monitor?
- What’s the Ideal Time to Buy a Fetal Doppler Monitor?
- How Often Should a Fetal Doppler Monitor Be Used?
- How Do I Use the Fetal Doppler Monitor?
- Do I Have to Use Lubricant or Gel?
- How Do I Know I’m Hearing My Baby’s Heartbeat?
Best Fetal Doppler Moniter
Best Fetal Doppler For Early Pregnancy
The Angelsounds fetal heart doppler is the most popular model on the market. It recently experienced an overhaul, so it now offers an improved sound sensor, enhanced accuracy, and an easy-to-use, compact design.
This fetal doppler is roughly the size of a computer mouse and includes a second-generation ground sensor from Medi-K that records even minute sounds from inside the womb. It’s also easy to use, only requiring a lubricant, like baby oil or aloe gel, to get started.
The Angelsounds monitor can also pick up a heartbeat as early as 11 weeks. It includes a sound amplifier for enhanced clarity, as well as two audio jacks so that partners can listen too. These sounds can be recorded and saved in MP3 or WAV format by connecting to a computer.
- Sound amplifier
- MP3 or WAV options for recording
- Two audio jacks
- Money-back guarantee
- No heart rate display
Best Fetal Doppler for Home Use
Like other fetal heart monitors, the Bundle Tumble Babyblip has crisp, accurate audio quality and features two audio jacks, but it also offers a cute, two-tone casing design that’s pleasing to look at.
The Babyblip is one of the most popular monitors on the market, due to its incredible accuracy. Not hearing a heartbeat can be unsettling, especially for new mothers, but the Babyblip can pick up a heartbeat sitting or standing, without the use of gel or lubricant. It’s also high-quality sound, unencumbered by static or interference, and picks up even the most minute sounds. Because of this, it also offers a volume knob to adjust the sound.
Like Angelsounds, the Babyblip can connect to a computer or audio recorder to hold on to those memories or have a heartbeat or other sound recordings easily-available for your doctor.
- Can be used sitting or standing
- No static or interference
- Can be used without lubricant
- Two audio jacks
- Option to record sounds
- Included earbuds are large and ill-fitting
Best High-Tech Fetal Heart Monitor
Unlike the “computer mouse” style of most fetal doppler monitors, the Little Martin’s Baby Sound Amplifier and Recorder are designed more like a cell phone. The probe takes up nearly half of the unit, and it offers an LCD backlit display and sleek external casing.
For added peace of mind, the built-in sound amplifier picks up even the slightest sounds, and the digital display shows the heartbeat in real time. It also includes a USB speaker, so there’s no need for a headset, though there are two audio jacks on the device for privacy and to allow others to listen.
One of the more exciting features of this monitor is the multi-colored backlit LCD display. Blue indicates a normal heart rate and yellow can indicate that the heart rate is too fast or too weak. This makes it much easier to know when it’s appropriate to contact your doctor.
The monitor can be connected to a smartphone or computer, via a USB cable, to record sounds. The smartphone option is really handy for sharing with friends and family instantly.
- Multi-colored backlit LCD display
- Digital readings
- Two audio jacks
- Integrated sound amplifier
- Ability to record on smartphone or computer
Best Fetal Doppler Monitor for Plus Size Women
Nearly all home fetal doppler monitors are compact, but this one is designed to fit in your pocket for on-the-go use. It also includes an LCD display and customization settings for more detail.
The design is innovative, with an independent probe and coiled cord for room to move around. There’s also a speaker that eliminates the need to use a headset to listen to the womb sounds.
The display is LCD-backlit, with a customizable brightness, and includes heart rate, mode, battery status, and frequency power. Mode options are real-time heart rate display, a 10-second average heart rate display, and a manual mode that records the average heart rate for eight beats. These are all incredibly useful for new mothers in the early stages of pregnancy, or for high-risk pregnancies.
None of these features sacrifice sound quality and accuracy. There’s little-to-no interference, and the amplifier boosts small sounds, like hiccups or changing positions. This monitor also includes the option to connect to a smartphone and record the womb sounds.
- Backlit LCD display
- Independent probe
- Coiled cable
- Three modes
- Real-time display
- Integrated amplifier
- No interference
- Connects to smartphone for recordings
- Average speaker
Best Simple Fetal Doppler Monitor
The Womb Music heartbeat monitor is the best-selling monitor for a reason. It can pick up even the slightest womb sounds without any interference or static. Though it lacks some of the high-tech features of its competitors, it’s effective and accurate enough to edge out the competition.
This monitor is incredibly compact, fitting in the palm of the hand, and moves smoothly and evenly with the use of lubricant. Because of this, it’s easier to pinpoint an exact location, and it can detect a heartbeat as early as the seventh week of pregnancy.
Not only is it highly accurate and compact enough to be carried in a purse or pocket, but it’s also simple to use. An LED light indicates that it’s on and ready to use, and its only features are volume control and two audio jacks.
- LED “Power-on” indicator
- Volume control
- Two audio jacks
- No display
- No advanced tracking or recording
Choosing a Fetal Doppler Monitor
There are many different models of fetal doppler monitors on the market, but they are significantly different than the ones you’d find at a doctor’s office. Because of this, many people are unsure of what the features and options they should look for when shopping for a fetal doppler monitor.
Size isn’t usually the first concern people have, but it makes a huge difference when it comes to using the monitor. Ideally, a fetal doppler monitor will be compact enough to hold comfortably, so it should fit in the palm, and be easily transported in a purse or pocket. Some of the more advanced monitors include a separate probe that is easy to grip, so that’s always an option for a high-tech monitor that’s also easy-to-use.
Regardless of its design, no fetal doppler monitor designed for home use will offer the same accuracy and precision as a medical-grade monitor. That said, home dopplers are incredibly accurate for their purposes, though some are more prone to static or interference that can impact the heartbeat sound. When choosing a fetal doppler monitor, remember that listening to the heartbeat is the main reason for buying it, so don’t neglect the value of accurate recordings.
There are two types of fetal doppler monitors for home use. One is a simple device that allows you to listen to the heartbeat, with little else. The other is a more high-tech option that may include features like an LCD display that shows real-time heart rates, average heartbeat number, or offers the option to record the sounds on a smartphone or computer to be easily shared with family, friends, and your doctor. Most models include audio jacks for headsets, but that is an important feature for allowing a partner or other family member to listen as well, or built-in speakers and the option to connect to an external speaker.
Though it’s not always an indicator of quality, you do get what you pay for when it comes to most things. Fetal doppler monitors have a wide range of price tags, but most good-quality monitors fall in the range of $40 to $60. Like other things, it comes down to the features you want and your budget. Some of the cheaper options may not work as promised or be as accurate, and some of the higher-priced options may include features that raise the price but aren’t necessary for your purposes. It’s important to consider what you’d like to spend and focus on size and accuracy first.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Fetal Doppler Monitor?
A fetal doppler monitor is a handheld ultrasound device that can detect the heartbeat of the baby.
Why Buy a Fetal Doppler Monitor?
For mothers with high-risk pregnancies, complicated pregnancies, or who have had miscarriages or complications in the past, a fetal doppler monitor can offer a lot of peace of mind by ensuring that there is a consistent and healthy fetal heart rate. In addition, some fetal doppler monitors allow recording for doctors, and some mothers just prefer the bonding experience of being able to listen to the heartbeat.
Should I Buy a Fetal Doppler Monitor?
Fetal doppler monitors were once a fad, but they’ve now secured their place in expectant mothers’ “must-have” lists. It’s not a necessity, but it’s also not a luxury. Thanks to their wide availability, fetal doppler monitors are no longer as expensive as they once were, and newer models offer plenty of features and options that weren’t available in the past. Choosing to buy one is a personal choice, but it’s highly-recommended for mothers who want to have a stronger bond with their unborn baby.
What’s the Ideal Time to Buy a Fetal Doppler Monitor?
Though some monitors can detect a heartbeat in the early stages of pregnancy, it can be difficult to reliably detect sound prior to 18 weeks. Unless there’s a pressing reason to purchase a monitor, such as a high-risk pregnancy, it’s not necessary to purchase one prior to 18 weeks, since every baby is different there’s no guarantee it can pull a heartbeat at that stage.
How Often Should a Fetal Doppler Monitor Be Used?
Fetal doppler monitors have been cleared for continuous use, but it’s best to use them sparingly or at times of concern. In general, fetal doppler monitors should not be used for more than ten minutes each session, and if the heartbeat isn’t detected at that time, it’s best to try again later.
How Do I Use the Fetal Doppler Monitor?
Most monitors work best with the mother lying down on her back, though many are able to be used while sitting and standing. Most fetal doppler monitors should be used with a gel or lubricant on the belly, though a few models offer the option of being used without lubricant. Generally, it’s best to begin at the midline of the abdomen and working downwards from there, but a little experimentation will teach you the best method and technique for using your monitor.
Do I Have to Use Lubricant or Gel?
Lubricant acts as a coupling agent to reduce the static that often accompanies the use of fetal doppler monitors. Some monitors can be used without a lubricant, though that may impact the ease-of-use or sound quality. There are many lubricants on the market that are designed for use with home monitors, so it’s important to choose a lubricant that won’t affect the sound quality or accuracy, and won’t damage the monitor.
How Do I Know I’m Hearing My Baby’s Heartbeat?
Until you get used to using a monitor, it can be difficult to differentiate the sound of your own heartbeat from the sound of your baby’s. The best way is to calculate the beats-per-minute (BPM) and use that to identify each heartbeat. Babies have a BPM between 120 and 180, and adults have a BPM between 60 and 100. In addition, you can use your normal heart rate and the baby’s heart rate that was recorded by the doctor as a baseline.