Frequently Asked Questions
1.1. Is the fetal heart rate monitor safe?
The Baby Sound device is a completely safe, CE certified and FDA cleared home fetal Doppler monitor for monitoring your baby's heartbeat. It is manufactured by Contec Medical Systems. It is a medical device and has received the following approvals and certificates:
- CE Certified (CE0123), EN ISO 13485:2003 compliant
- Conforms to the EU Medical Devices Directive (MDD 93/42/EEC)
- Medical Device Classifications: EU MDD Class IIa and FDA Class II
- Australian TGA (ARTG ID 224766)
1.2. How does the fetal heart rate monitor work?
The Doppler probe sends high frequency sound waves into the body. It shouldn't be mixed with radiation. When the position of the fetal heart reflects the ultrasound waves, the frequency of the waves is changed. The fetal Doppler receives the reflected sound waves and uses the Doppler Effect concept to calculate the change in frequency and provides an audible simulation of the heartbeat. This sound is then amplified through the headphones. Fetal Dopplers have been around for many decades, and no adverse effects have ever been reported from their use.
1.3. Why do some medical professionals advise expecting moms not to use home Doppler monitors?
They are concerned by the fact that mothers may delay seeking help from medical professionals due to the reassurance from the sounds they hear on a Doppler. The Fetal Doppler does not replace the need to monitor the child's progress with a professional caregiver. Remember that a Home Fetal Doppler is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. If you have any concerns about the health of the fetus, consult with your doctor or midwife. FDA recommends that dopplers should only be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional when medically indicated for the benefit of the health of mother and child.
1.4 Is it safe to use the fetal heart rate monitor regularly or should it be limited?
Mayo Clinic has stated "Ultrasound has been routinely used in obstetrics for more than 30 years. There's no scientific evidence of any harmful effects to the fetus from the use of ultrasound during pregnancy. It's considered a very safe procedure for both the mother and the fetus." They have also further stated "Because it doesn't involve potentially harmful radiation, ultrasound is safe for both mother and baby." Many tests are continually conducted by manufacturers and the U.S. government agencies. Results in the past have indicated no adverse side effects. It is commonly recommended that like everything in life prudence is the best policy. When using your fetal Doppler it is suggested that you use it in short intervals, infrequently, and following the first trimester. As a general rule an exam with a fetal doppler should never last longer than 10 minutes. If you don't find baby's heartbeat in this period of time, take a break. If you are concerned contact your health care provider. If not, try again in a few days.
1.5. Can the mobile device radiation harm the baby when recording the heartbeat with the app?
No, you should turn your mobile device to Airplane Mode when you record the heartbeat. UnbornHeart app doesn't require any usage of cellular or wireless networks when a fetus is monitored with the Doppler.
2.1. What are the benefits of using the fetal heart rate monitor?
Originally, Baby Dopplers were used only by midwives and healthcare professionals, but they have become increasingly popular for home use. This is because fetal Dopplers can help reduce anxiety during pregnancy and offer reassurance especially during the early stages before it is even possible to feel the baby moving. Listening to the fetal heartbeat is also a great way for a father-to-be to bond with his unborn baby.
2.2. What are the benefits of using the UnbornHeart mobile app?
It takes your home monitoring experience to a totally new level with new amazing features. For example, you can
- Record fetal heartbeat for later playback.
- Share heartbeat recordings with your family and friends via email, text message, Facebook, Google+ etc.
3. Fetal Doppler usage
3.1. When can I start using the baby Doppler?
As a general rule, from week 12 of the pregnancy on. An important note is to remember that everyone is different, so not finding your baby's heartbeat early isn't a reason for concern. Most women are able to hear the fetal heartbeat from the 14th week.
3.2. Am I able to find the fetal heartbeat?
Yes, you just need to get the hang of using the Doppler. You can find good detailed instructions from here. It may take some time and practice to find the heartbeat for the first time especially if you are in the early stages of pregnancy. If you can't find the fetal heartbeat and feel concerned, contact your doctor or midwife.
3.3. What should the fetal heart rate typically be?
The baby's heart rate is usually between 120 and 160 beats per minute, much faster than your own. The baby's normal fetal heart rate will also vary naturally, just as your heart rate does. Movement, sleeping and other activities can cause a normal variation also outside of the typical range momentarily. Also extra noises, such as the mother's heartbeat or stomach rumbling or static caused by Doppler probe movement, can mask the signals causing unreliable Doppler measurement. Be sure to talk to your midwife or doctor about concerns that you have with your baby's heart rate.
3.4. Is the fetal Doppler measurement reliable?
These are the conditions that may affect the measurement with any fetal monitoring device using the Doppler technology:
- Smoking tobacco products
- Drinking or eating large amounts of caffeine can falsely raise the baby's heart rate.
- Extra noises, such as the mother's heartbeat or stomach rumbling, can mask the signals.
- Baby is sleeping.
- Problems associated with the placement of the Doppler probe.
- Baby is moving a lot during the measurement.
- Pregnant with more than one baby, such as twins or triplets.
3.5. Should I use ultrasound gel?
You will receive a small tube of ultrasound gel with your Doppler device. Ultrasound gel enables better skin contact for the doppler probe and makes it possible to find your baby's heartbeat. Since high frequency sound waves do not travel readily through air, ultrasound gel is applied to the fetal doppler as well as your belly in order for the Fetal Doppler's probe to detect these sound waves.
4. Mobile App Usage
4.1. Which mobile devices are supported?
The app works on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod) and Android phones and tablets.
4.2. How do I connect the Doppler to my phone or tablet?
You will need a special recording cable to connect your mobile device with the Doppler monitor. The Fetal Doppler Sales Package includes the required cable.
4.3. Can I use the mobile app with some other fetal heart rate monitor (e.g. Angelsounds or Hi-bebe)?
No, the mobile app works only with Fetal Doppler devices sold by UnbornHeart.