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  1. #1
    Registered User southisland06's Avatar
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    Default Can you hear the babies heartbeat with a stethoscope?

    I am 17w3d pregnant. I don't really want to fork out the $$ for a home doppler. Can you hear the heartbeat at this stage with a stethoscope? If yes, how do I find it?

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    Registered User RunnerDuck's Avatar
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    I was never able to. My mother's friend (nurse) sent me one when I was pregnant with my son and I was never able to find his heartbeat, even when I was hugely far along. My mother came out to visit and said "Let me try" and she couldn't find it, either. He was moving so we knew he had a heartbeat...

    It's not impossible but it's pretty hard to do. I actually think in the "old days" doctors wore some weird thing on their head that stuck straight out from their forehead and they used this to find the baby's heartbeat - I don't know if anyone uses them any more.


    Maybe you will be luckier than I was but a good quality steth can be pricey - I would try it in your doctor's office first, see if you can, get them to help you do it best, before you buy one.

    Are you feeling movement yet?? Once I feel movement I am less concerned about the heartbeat. Not like I am a pregnancy expert or anything but that's how I was with my son and I know with these two once they are moving I will be a happy camper and won't be pestering them with the doppler 4 times a day. I first felt my son around 15 weeks and felt him regular from 16-17 weeks on - hoping these guys will follow suit.
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  3. #3
    Registered User southisland06's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. Ya, I bought a cheap stethoscope yesterday because I read somewhere that you can hear the heartbeat, but all I hear is gurgling. My husband is convinced it is the baby moving in the fluid. I don't have the heart to tell him it's most likely my bowels gurgling! ha

    I started to feel movement at 14 weeks which was very surprising. I feel movement everyday now which is nice and reassuring. I just love the sound of the heartbeat when I go to the doc that I wanted my own little experience at home. O well, the movement is really nice. Makes my day.

    I heard that you will feel movement sooner with twins, so you aren't too far off from feeling those little kicks.
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    Registered User RunnerDuck's Avatar
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    Yeah, the heartbeat is a nice thing to hear. I remember when I was in labor with my son and they put the contraction monitor and baby monitor on my belly - which played the heart beat LOUDLY into the room. The nurse was like, "I can turn the sound off if you don't want all that noise." I was like are you crazy woman??? That sound is the sweetest music in the world.
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    Registered User Fleegle4's Avatar
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    You should be very close to feeling movement. I started at about 16 weeks. For the next two or three weeks, I felt it once and a while, and now... he's a marathon runner, who likes to rest on my bladder. Eat sugar, and he's all hopped up. So you're very close to not needing any kind of instrument to tell you if the baby's in there.

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    Registered User marji's Avatar
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    My husband is an anesthesiologist (resident actually) who specializes in OB anesthesia. He was against getting a doppler b/c he thought it'd be better/cheaper to use a stethoscope. He neglected to tell me at the time, that we wouldn't be able to use the steth until 20-25 weeks, and even then, it'd be a stretch. We ended up renting a doppler because I was too impatient. I know it's possible, but I think it takes much longer to hear than with a doppler. Good luck!
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    Registered User lilalouise's Avatar
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    Ok, I know that I am really farfrom this, but am curious... when can you start to hear the HB with a home doppler? That and where can you buy/rent one from?

    Thanks!

    Pam

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    Registered User RunnerDuck's Avatar
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    D'oh... I did forget to say that at 17 weeks it is early for a heartbeat with a steth anyway. 20 weeks is then that is supposed to work and like I said we NEVER got it to work.

    Lila - I bought the HiBebe doppler for $115 - look on Amazon (good reviews!) or healthchecksystems.com (free shipping from there) - and got it at 11w2d and found one of the heartbeats at 11w3d.

    There are ones you can rent that will supposedly work from 8-10 weeks on - the HiBebe is supposed to work from 10-12 weeks on. It depends on if you have a 2mzh or 3mzh probe. Some people can hear it as early as 9-10 weeks, some people can't hear it until 12-14 weeks. It depends on a lot of things, where the baby is, how thick you are, etc. We were never able to hear my 3rd triplet with our doppler because of where he was but maybe with a fancier model, who knows? It works great for the other 2.
    "Laugh about it, shout about it, when you've got to choose -
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    Registered User lilalouise's Avatar
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    Runner -- Thank you for the info.... I must say that I have read your posts for years and have always been impressed with how knowledgeable you are. You are a true asset! Thanks!

    Pam

  10. #10
    Believe in Yourself lachicarubia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RunnerDuck View Post
    It's not impossible but it's pretty hard to do. I actually think in the "old days" doctors wore some weird thing on their head that stuck straight out from their forehead and they used this to find the baby's heartbeat - I don't know if anyone uses them any more.
    Here is a pic of that stethescope that they "used in the old days"


    They still use them in poor countries, like Guatemala, because in those countries, even the doctors can't afford to buy dopplers (well the ones who work in government funded hospitals and clinics), and they can't even listen to the baby's heartbeat until 20 weeks, when it is audible with a fetal stethoscope.
    You press the flat part against your forehead while you press the cupped part on the mom's belly, the area that the baby's back is closest to. Sometimes finding the right spot is the hardest part. The docs get pretty up close and personal when using this scope to hear the baby'e heartbeat.

    When I was in nursing school, I went with a class to Guatemala, and tried to use one of these types of scopes with the PG ladies at a health clinic, and it was still very difficult. I think I was only able to hear it if the lady was pretty far along. The doc in the clinic was a lot more experienced with using it, and was able to hear he heartbeat when I wasn't.

    southisland06, yeah, tell your DH that those are just your intestines gurgeling. Let him listen to his own abdomen, and he will hear the same thing (LOL).

    I borrowed a friend's rented doppler, and I was able to hear the heartbeat at 10 weeks, and I am a pretty fluffy cyster. It took forever, and a full bladder, but I was finally about to hear about 6 beats before I lost it.

    I am 34 weeks right now, and I just tried to hear my baby's heartbeat with my stethescope, and he started kicking it (or hitting it), so that is all I could hear, his kicks. I guess it was a bit cold for him. I might not be listening at the right spot either. He moves so much, I never bother to try to listen for a heartbeat.
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  11. #11
    Praise God autumnleaves's Avatar
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    I am almost 34weeks. Granted I am fluffy but I still cant hear it with stethescope as of yesterday. I know where the hb is because I listen with the doppler first then tried to hear with the steth. Nada
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    Just Me SweetMe's Avatar
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    if you have an active baby finding a heartbeat at all can be like a wild goose chase. mand x

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