TIPS_Doppler-01

Tips from PAL Moms is column on PALS where we ask you, the PAL mom, for feedback about your experience during pregnancy after loss. We ask a question on our Facebook Page and hope that you can help answer some questions and also benefit from the answers all in an effort to relate and learn from fellow moms who “get it”.

Question:

“To Doppler or not to Doppler? That is the question. Do you or did you use an at home Doppler during PAL? Did you find it helpful, or did it make pregnancy more anxiety-provoking? Give us some feedback to help other PAL moms considering this purchase.”

Answers:

Larissa – “I didn’t. I didn’t feel I would be able to find the heartbeat quickly every time, and since a silent Doppler was our first indication that my daughter had died, I did not want to unnecessarily worry. I had a midwife who would always come check me if I called her so that was the peace I mind I needed.”

Mel – “I bought one, but only used it about 3 times. Made my anxiety worse. I just went to the hospital about 3 times a week for the midwife to listen to heartbeat as I couldn’t feel movement until about 26 weeks.

“I think if you get one, you need to discuss it with your midwife/doctor, and come up with a plan of what to do if you can’t find heart beat. I also think you need to make sure you do some research into what all the sounds you hear are, so that you can identify the placenta’s woosh, your heart beat, and your baby’s.”

Melissa “I didn’t use one with our rainbow because I knew I would get too obsessive about it and want to check all the time. Plus I knew if I couldn’t find a heartbeat right away that I would panic!”

Alexandra – “We got a doppler around 10 weeks. I was unsure whether or not to get one, but I am so glad I did. I listened every morning and night for weeks until I was able to feel her on a regular basis. And now I only listen if  don’t think I have felt her enough that day or am feeling uneasy. There have only been a couple of times it scared me, but I asked my doctor about anything I might have been concerned about, and he reassured me it was normal. Just be sure to find one with good reviews and not too cheap. Mine is the Hi Bebe Doppler Heartbeat Monitor. Around $100 if anyone is interested in purchasing one.”

Elizabeth – “Definitely! Started at 10 weeks. Really helped ease my anxiety. Now I’m 30 weeks and only use it every now and then when I haven’t felt baby move in awhile and my anxiety is up.”

Andria – “We lost Ellis at 16wks and 8 months later lost Truman at 20wks. If I hadn’t had a Doppler I wouldn’t have known something was wrong until a routine check up. However, we are now pregnant with twins!! Even my doctor can’t find both heartbeats definitively with the Doppler, so it’s made me trust God a lot more this time around!”

Ruth – “I got one and used it a couple of times a week from around 10 weeks to around 22 weeks when I started getting regular movement. I sometimes use it still when bubba has worryingly quiet days. Mine is only a small one from Amazon (Angel Sounds, I think). You do have to be careful to know it’s difficult to find sometimes and to work out which is you and which is baby beats.

Jennifer – “Before I got pregnant I thought it would be a MUST have! But then I couldn’t find heartbeat fast enough which gave me extreme anxiety so i stopped trying. Now that I can feel movement regularly I don’t use the Doppler at all.”

Jessica “Before we got pregnant I swore I would get one, there was no way I felt I could make it without one, but then we got pregnant and I changed my mind. I had an amazing doctor who said if I ever had doubts, to go in and see him right away, and if he wasn’t in, they’d make it so I could see someone if it were before 20 weeks (which at that point I could go to L and D). In hindsight, I am thankful I didn’t get one. My thinking was that, if something was wrong or I felt something was wrong, it would be better for me to get checked by the doctors. I didn’t want to be at home and not be able to find a heartbeat and then have to go to the hospital, I’d rather have been there. That being said, I know some moms who did use them and couldn’t have made it without.

Mary – “It eased my mind and helped my husband feel more a part of the pregnancy. This was particularly true prior to him being able to feel the baby kick.”

Lindsay  “I’m 23 weeks pregnant with my PAL; I’ve had the doppler and started using it at 11 weeks. I love it because if I haven’t felt him move for a little while I use it. But I do recommend asking your OB to help you learn how to use it first so you don’t freak out, because sometimes it does take a while to find the little one. I’m a nurse, and it still took me a while to find him in the beginning. But also since you can hear your own heartbeat with it, its a good idea to make sure you can tell the difference. It was also easier for me to tell the difference between the two, because when I lost my baby girl at 22 weeks back in September, I heard what it sounded like to hear only my heartbeat with it.”

Jennifer – “I did use one, multiple times a day. It really didn’t help. I was full of anxiety anyways. I realized I could have listened all day every day and it wouldn’t stop another still birth.”

Sarah – It has helped me tremendously! Every time I’m anxious about him, thinking he’s too still, I put that Doppler on my belly & hear his reassuring heartbeat. It’s instant relief.

Glenna – “My doctor suggested it after having PPROM for a second time. He showed me the proper way to use it, and I loved it.”

Amanda – “My sister, a nurse, talked me out of it. She said too often even doctors and nurses have a hard time finding a heartbeat early on. She thought I would be more comfortable just asking for a quick trip to the doctor’s for a pro to take a listen. She was right. Even now that I’m feeling movement, it isn’t regular yet and its so nerve-wracking.”

Marie – “I don’t think we should use them outside of the doctors offices. They can just cause so much worry, and it’s so easy to listen to your own beat thinking it is your baby.”

Karen – “I got one, and it was indispensable my whole pregnancy. By the third full term pregnancy, I could find the heartbeat better than the doctor. You learn where your baby likes to hide, move, etc. Even my doctor acknowledged I was better at finding the heartbeat than he was because I knew my baby better.”

*To read more Tips from PAL Moms about this specific question visit our Facebook Page.

 

Share this story!