Parents are eager to hear their child’s heartbeat while they’re still in the womb. A fetal heartbeat may first be detected by a vaginal ultrasound as early as 5 1/2 to 6 weeks after gestation. That’s when a fetal pole, the first visible sign of a developing embryo, can sometimes be seen (Source).

How to check the fetal heartbeat at home?

You get to experience this parental joy during your regular visits to the prenatal clinic. You can listen to the heartbeat at home too, by using simple, cheap devices that are readily available in the market. We’ll show you a variety of possible ways to learn how to check baby heartbeat at home.

How to hear the baby’s heartbeat at home with a stethoscope?

A stethoscope is a mainstream medical appliance used to amplify and hear internal body noises such as the diaphragm-beat, heartbeat, etc. When the fetus is around 20 weeks old, you can put a stethoscope on your belly to listen to your child’s heartbeat. Follow these simple steps

  • Put the earpiece of the stethoscope in your ear
  • Put the other end on your bare belly to listen to your baby’s heartbeat
  • Move the stethoscope around if you can’t hear to find the exact spot

We advise you to use high-quality medical equipment for you and your child’s safety. A faulty or cheap tool can provide incorrect information about the child’s heartbeat, that can result in a false sense of security or panic. You can borrow a good quality stethoscope from a friend or purchase one from a local drugstore.

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How to hear a baby heartbeat at home with a Fetoscope?

A Fetoscope is similar to an endoscope and is a handy medical tool used to detect a baby’s heartbeat without the need for ultrasound. The sound is originated through the practitioner’s forehead and bounces back from the baby into the receiving end of the attached stethoscope.  It takes a particular skill set to operate a Fetoscope, but a midwife or caretaker can quickly learn it.

Here’s how it works.

  • The sound signal goes through the forehead piece.
  • The signal travels through flesh into the womb and returns with any movement signature.
  • The message is heard at the receiving end and deciphered by a professional or trained caretaker.

You should keep in mind that it is difficult to distinguish a baby’s heartbeat from other sounds. And even if you do, it is nearly impossible for you to say for sure that your baby’s bodily functions are working correctly.

It is advised to seek professional help whenever you feel concerned or uncomfortable about your unborn baby.

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How to hear a fetus’s heartbeat at home with a monitor?

You can buy an inexpensive heart rate monitor to keep at your home and listen to your child’s heartbeat whenever you want. These monitors are not as reliable as the ones used by professionals. They can pick up a heartbeat once the fetus is five months old and can document the data for later use.

Here’s how it works:

  • Turn on the monitor and attach necessary equipment to the mother’s belly
  • Ultrasound waves bounce off the baby and displayed on the monitor
  • Readings performed by a professional

These monitors use ultrasound technology and mostly require a handyman to operate it. Do not use these monitors too long because the long-term exposure effects are unknown. You must consult your doctor before you make a purchase. If you do buy a home monitor for yourself, make sure you understand and follow the instructions thoroughly.

How to listen to a baby heartbeat at home with a Doppler?

A Doppler is another alternative to help you listen to your baby’s heartbeat. It uses ultrasound technology that bounces off sound waves from the baby and displays them on a hand-held display device. It uses digital output technology to allow the user to hear their baby’s heartbeat.

Here’s how it works:

  • The Dopper bounces ultrasound waves off the baby using a transmitter
  • The receiver gets the bounced signals and displays necessary information on the hand-held screen

A nurse or a caretaker can efficiently operate a Doppler. These devices are not as sensitive as the one your doctor uses. They can pick up your baby’s heartbeat if the fetus is old enough, and you can find the right angle. Even if you manage to locate the pulse, it might be difficult for you to interpret the signals as good or bad. So you must stay in contact with your doctor and send them the home results via email or post if you can.

How to hear an unborn’s heartbeat at home without Doppler, Monitor, or Stethoscope?

Do you not have any medical equipment or are afraid to use one? We have another way for you to hear the tiny heartbeat at home! In this age of technological advancements, there are several pieces of software available for your phones and tablets that can detect your baby’s heartbeat. Once the fetus grows enough, it is relatively easy for you to browse through hundreds of mobile applications to download the one that suits you the most. We list a few highly popular iOS apps below:

  • Hear My Baby Heartbeat App by Fat Cigar Productions Ltd. (Preview)
  • FetalBeats by Fetal Beats Inc. (Preview)
  • Womb Beats by Womb Beats LLC (Preview)
  • My Baby Heart Rate Recorder – Heartbeat listener by Jovana Djordjevic (Preview)
  • Tiny Beat by Mirko Trkulja (Preview)

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Things to keep in mind while using Mobile Applications:

  • Remember that such applications mostly need add-on hardware to connect with your phone. They may fail to pick up your baby’s heartbeat until the fetus is five to six months old.
  • These apps are not medically certified and do not necessarily provide accurate information. It is advised to regularly consult your doctor and not solely depend on these apps for your baby’s health information.
  • Switch your cellphone to Airplane mode to block connectivity. Doing so will keep your baby safe from harmful cellular waves and prevent disturbance between the listening process.

How to hear a baby heartbeat with the human ear?

It is near to impossible for a human ear to detect the sound of the heartbeat without amplifying it. Some mothers claim to hear their baby’s heartbeat when they’re in a quiet, comfy place. This event happens when the mother’s heartbeat gets synchronized with the baby’s heartbeat and results in an immaculate experience.

We advise you to wait for your regular doctor visits to get the information on the well-being of your baby. If you’re anxious, resort to simple appliances mentioned in this informative article to listen to your baby’s heartbeat.

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Final Note:

It is understandable for parents to be concerned about the well-being of their unborn child. There are several reasons why using medical equipment at home is not advised. It can prove to be a useless investment if you can’t find your baby’s heartbeat. It can also increase your stress rather than decreasing it if the device gives inaccurate readings. You should wait for your regular checkup with the doctor to get your ultrasound. 

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