1. Make sure the fetal doppler
has been fully charged - for at least 16 hours before first use.
2. A full bladder often helps as it pushes everything forward - so drink plenty of fluids in the time leading up to using your doppler
3. Put a good tablespoon size of doppler gel
on your lower stomach - this helps to produce a much clearer signal as ultrasound waves travel much easier through gel than than through air.
4. Place the doppler probe low down on the abdomen at about the level of the public hair line - the fetus is a lot lower than initially thought during the early stages of pregnancy
5. Move the doppler probe slowly, pausing regularly to listen to the change in sounds
6. Changing position might be a good idea - moving your body around may provide a better position for the doppler to detect the heartbeat
7. If you cannot hear the heartbeat after a while of trying, Don't panic
- there's plenty of room in there for the baby to be playing hide and seek with the doppler. Take a break and try again later or the next day.
It can take a while to get used to all the subtle sounds in the abdomen and how to position yourself and the doppler probe to detect these sounds. Some mums find the fetal heartbeat straight away, whilst other take a bit longer and have many attempts before doing so. If you have genuine conerns then let your midwife know and they can best advise - they may even offer a hand in instructing you how to get the most out of your doppler.