Pros & Cons Of Using Fetal Dopplers & Heartbeat Monitors To Track Your Baby’s Growth At Home

fetal-doppler-heartbeat-monitor-by-eyeliam.jpg In a world filled with technological devices, it shouldn’t be surprising that parents are buying and renting devices that monitor the baby, including fetal heartbeat monitors and fetal dopplers.

Even 12 years ago when I was pregnant with my second child, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my doctor owned an ultrasound machine and treated me to a visual presentation of my child at every appointment.

I still never imagined being able to have listening devices at home just over a decade later.

Today, parents are using fetal heartbeat monitors and fetal dopplers so they can monitor their newborn at will.  The purpose of having your own fetal monitor is to give peace of mind that your baby is doing well.

This new trend cannot be without its drawbacks, though.  Following are the pros and cons of using a fetal doppler to monitor your baby at home.


What Is A Fetal Doppler?

A fetal doppler is a handheld ultrasound transducers that uses “the doppler effect” to detect the baby’s heartbeat and allows you to hear it.

Some fetal dopplers have a small speaker-like device, so more than one person can hear the heartbeat at the same time.

Some models (fetal heartbeat monitors) also read the heartbeat and display the baby’s heartbeat in beats per minute.

In the end, fetal dopplers and fetal heartbeat monitors act much like traditional stethoscopes that allow you to listen to a heartbeat.

Fetal dopplers were originally created for doctors to use.


Pros Of Using A Fetal Doppler

  • Gives peace of mind, especially in cases of high-risk pregnancies.
  • If you are concerned about the baby not being active, you can check the heartbeat.
  • Monitoring an unborn child with a fetal doppler has no negative side effects.
  • Fetal dopplers can provide a unique bonding experience with the baby before birth.


Cons Of Using A Fetal Doppler

  • They are not always reliable and can cause added anxiety.
  • Doctors worry that using a monitor may cause parents to ignore possible signs of distress.
  • Some parents will use the monitor for hours on end when it is recommended by the FDA to use it only in moderation.


Fetal Dopplers You Can Rent

The cost to rent a fetal doppler is approximately $18 to $45 per month.

Here are some fetal doppler heartbeat monitors that you can rent:

Heartbeats At Home

Baby Beat


Stork Radio


Fetal Dopplers You Can Buy

Stores sell fetal heartbeat monitors that aren’t exactly doppler devices.  With these fetal heartbeat monitors you can hear the heartbeat around 20 weeks and the price ranges anywhere from $450 into the thousands of dollars.

Fetal Doppler Ultrasound Stethoscope

Baby Beat

Stork Radio



Facts & Reviews Of Fetal Monitors

summit-doppler-lifedop-fetal-doppler-by-joshua-amberIn general, the medical grade fetal dopplers are more reliable than the listening devices found in stores.

Before you buy or rent a fetal doppler, you’ll want to make sure the device is FDA approved.

Here are the FDA regulations for fetal dopplers and ultrasound heartbeat monitors.


Andrea Hermitt

Andrea Hermitt

I have been a certified tightwad since I became pregnant with my first child and decided to find a way to stay home with him. I enjoy sharing my experiences in my journey back to financial health and planning for a future -- which will include sending 2 kids to college and early retirement.

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  • Wilma

    I would add to that list. They have an online store that caters to the expectant mother and they are first class with their customer service.

  • KC

    I bought a new Sonoline B Fetal Doppler/HB monitor off Ebay for $56 total this week (June 2011).  I was able to find the fetal HB at 12 wks 3 days with it.  Much cheaper than renting or being suckered into buying one for $450+!!  😀

  • E.Melo

    What can the medical team do if there is no heart beat at the embryonic phase? Some mothers to be, who’ve had previous miscarriages, demand the use of a Doppler in their home, but if the embryo or early fetus were to have no HB or show signs of distress is there really anything that can be done? Even if the woman is hospitalized it must be almost impossible for successful interventions to happen…

  • Danielle Lavoie

    I have a fetal doppler that I bought for only $35…Very reliable-started hearing the heartbeat at 14 weeks. Same measurements as the one at the OB’s office…

  • Roya Hoss

    I question the validity of these type of ultrasounds and dopplers being 100% safe. The doctors office is one thing but doing it at home is another, of course mothers will want to do it more frequently than their doctors would which poses a problem to me(even if a doctor advises you to not use it regularly, people will do it anyways). It has been shown that babies can hear the sound waves and to them it is quite loud. Yes, they say that there seems to be no short term side effects but that long term side effect are unknown. Why take the chance. A ridiculous amount of things change and affect our fully developed bodies, why add another in the womb to something that is actively DEVELOPING. Use some critical thinking when it comes to things like this, I see too many people jumping on the latest fad or trend instead of thinking about potential long term consequences.

    • FunTimesGuide

      Thanks, Roya. Something to think about…

  • Wynne Horst

    Please do your research!! Routine ultrasound and doppler usage of unborn babies can cause harm! I don’t know how or why people need such regular check-up on baby?? A mother’s body will take care of the baby on its own. Live a healthy lifestyle and there should be little to be worried about. There are certainly times when either ultrasound or doppler is needed, but certainly never unless necessary. The negative effects are certainly unsettling if you dig in to the topic of ultrasounds and uncover the real truth about them.

  • sandra

    I have yet to come across technical data that proves fetal dopplers cause harm. Just remember too much of anything is bad. That being said, every doctor uses them. if they were that bad we wouldnt have them in all the hospitals. The only doctors are worried about is people mis interpreting what they hear. Ive used a fetal doppler throughout all my pregnancies and they worked wonders. Two thumbs up to baby doppler canada i love their products and price.