Fetoscope! This is a tool used by midwives all over the world to listen to your baby's heartbeat during pregnancy. Think of it as a fetal stethoscope. There are many advantages to fetoscope use.
Why do I love my fetoscope so much? I can more accurately assess you baby's position. With a handheld doppler, the heartbeat may be heard from many different angles which could lead to a misdiagnosis of breech or baby position at the end of pregnancy. The fetoscope allows me to hear exactly where the baby's heart is. The fetoscope, combined with feeling (palpating) the head, bottom, shoulders, back and limbs, really confirms baby's position. You can't really hear heart tones with a fetoscope on baby's bottom or leg right?? This eliminates the weekly ultrasounds that most women experience during the last 4 weeks of their pregnancy with their doctor.
A fetoscope is also a perfect option for families that prefer not to use doppler or sound waves in pregnancy.
Dads and children LOVE to hear the baby's heartbeat. A fetoscope is another way to get families involved in prenatal care.
There is something so special and connecting about listening to a baby without the use of technology. The quiet thump-thump thump-thump is just not the same as the doppler speaker.
If you are interested in using a fetoscope in your pregnancy it's important to note that the baby is often too small to hear until around 19-24 weeks in pregnancy and sometimes even longer if the placenta is on the front of your uterus. Sometimes placing the forehead on the headpiece allows the sound to transmit easier through bone conduction making it easier to hear the heartbeat.