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Fetal DopplersWhat is a fetal doppler?
A fetal doppler uses ultrasound waves to hear the heartbeat of your baby inside of your uterus just like your doctor uses in their office.
Are fetal dopplers available for home use?
Several companies including StorkRadio and BabyBeat offer to rent home units to expectant mothers. Because fetal dopplers are regulated by the FDA, it will likely be necessary to obtain a prescription. Most companies will assist you in obtaining the necessary authorization. You should always discuss your plans to use one of these devices with your obstetrician.
Most companies charge rental fees between $20 and $50 per month. You may find it more economical to purchase one outright. Fetal dopplers cost between $300 to $600.
Is it safe to use a fetal doppler at home?
While most obstetricians use these devices routinely with no known negative effects, relatively little is known about more regular fetal exposure to ultrasound waves which would be expected with the use of a home fetal doppler machine. You should discuss your concerns about the use of such a device with your obstetrician.
Is is hard to learn how to use one?
Not usually, but it can occasionally be hard to locate your baby's heartbeat which can result in unnecessary anxiety for you. It is a good idea to take your fetal doppler machine to a prenatal appointment so your healthcare provider can instruct you in proper technique.
What about those 4D ultrasounds available in shopping malls?
Although it may be very tempting to use one of these services to be able to see what really are amazingly clear images of your baby, the FDA has recently stated that it does not recommend that pregnant women use them due to the fact that the safety of unnecessary or "entertainment" sonography has not been demonstrated.
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