Fetal Stethoscope Review || The Only Guide You Need

Fetal stethoscopes are a non-invasive way for expecting mothers to monitor their baby’s heart rate and fetal well being. Women listen to fetal heart tones with fetal scopes as soon as they are able to do so during prenatal appointments, instead of using a Doppler. 

In fetal stethoscopes, sound waves generated by the heart can be amplified greatly so that they are audible just like in regular stethoscopes. 

These stethoscopes usually detect the heartbeat of a fetus around 20 weeks of pregnancy. There are no risks involved with its use, it promotes human connection and thoughtful assessment, and it is low-cost. Thus, midwives keep it alive.

However, I will let you know all the essential things you need to know before using a fetal stethoscope in this article. 

Fetal Stethoscope-An Overview

During the 12th week, the majority of professionals in the medical field use this highly sensitive device to detect and monitor the fetal heartbeat.

Many aspects of this device resemble those of a standard doctor’s stethoscope. These usually consist of earpieces that a doctor or nurse inserts into the ear canals in order to create a soundproof environment.

Furthermore, the instrument comes with a long tube linking the earpieces to the bell. An additional piece of equipment is located where the bell meets the tube. For the nurse, doctor, or midwife to apply extra pressure, fetal scopes provide chin and forehead rests.

What is a Fetal Stethoscope?

Since the medical world began thousands of years ago, this type of stethoscope has been around. Fetal scopes are also known as Pinard’s stethoscopes or Pinard horn, and they use no electricity or ultrasound waves to perform their function.

Rather, this device is based on the pure resonance of the heartbeat that originates from within the womb.

In a fetal scope, caregivers place the small end of the device into the ear canal of a pregnant woman and the larger end on her belly.

Pregnant women in underdeveloped countries, where there are few or no medical resources, deserve the most access to these cone-shaped devices.


What are the other benefits of using the fetal scope? 

  • Another advantage of using this tool is we can determine or confirm fetal positioning using the fetal scope. With a fetal stethoscope directly over the heart, you can hear the fetal heartbeat most clearly.  
  • During pregnancy, unnecessary and prolonged ultrasounds can be avoided if you are using a fetal stethoscope at home. 
  • Assist the clients in listening to their own baby’s heartbeat during their prenatal appointments in order to increase the connection between them and their baby.
  • Fetal scope, an age-old technique and is used by midwives in prenatal care, carries no risks to either the mother or the baby. 
  • Additionally, it provides information about the baby’s health to measure changes in the infant’s heart rhythm safely and vitally.

Many hospitals, nurses, and doctors recommend using one of these specialized stethoscopes rather than other monitoring methods currently in practice.

What is the Difference between a Fetal Scope and a Standard Stethoscope?

Listening devices like the fetal scopes are similar to the standard stethoscopes nurses, and doctors use to check on their patients’ heartbeats and breathing patterns.

However, an infant stethoscope differs from a commonly seen stethoscope in a few ways. 

Fetal Stethoscopes Feature a Highly Distinct Earpiece and Headrest

Several components of the system are designed to assist the care provider, including a headrest, a bell placed against the belly. A highly discreet earpiece magnifies the sound of the area under the bell via tubes connecting the earpieces.

Fetal Scopes Are Perfect For Pregnant Women

Monitoring fetal health, multiple births, and high-risk pregnancies with a fetal monitoring device at home is safe, easy, and affordable. The mother and unborn child will not experience the stress of being away from home on a regular basis if they periodically check the heartbeat at home.

Why Do I Need a Fetal Scope in My Home?

There is no such thing as being over prepared. Having this device handy for periodic checks may provide reassurance and comfort to parents who are first-timers or in high-risk situations.

On the other hand, traveling to the clinic or doctor’s office unnecessarily can be extremely expensive and time-consuming. In order to prevent many of these unnecessary visits, there must be a monitoring device at your home.

In order to avoid false readings and unnecessary panic, caregivers and parents must be trained on how to use these devices properly.

How to Use a Fetal Scope at Home?

It is not difficult to use a fetal monitoring device. However, finding the heartbeat initially is the most challenging part.

Heartbeats in the fetus are minimal and often imperceptible since other sounds such as internal sounds from the mother, fetal positioning, and external ambient noises can interfere.

Following these steps is the best approach:

Lie Down at a Quiet Place

Make sure the mother has a comfortable and completely quiet place to lie down and hear the heartbeat.

Place the Cone-end on the Lower Abdomen

It would be best to place the large cone end of the stethoscope on the lower abdomen toward the center of the belly. In order to locate the back of the baby and hear its heartbeat, you may need to use some tactics. Generally, at 20 weeks of pregnancy, you are more likely to locate the back.

Count the Heartbeats You Listen

Start counting the beats per minute once you’ve located the fetus’ heartbeat. Babies have a much faster heartbeat than adults. At 120 to 160 beats per minute, theirs can be much quicker than adults.

How to Listen to Fetal Heartbeat?

An accurate interpretation of fetal heartbeat requires a great deal of skill and experience. Caretakers use the Pinard Horn by pressing the large end into the abdomen of the patient, gently pressing the large end on the caregiver’s ear. This allows a clear auditory path to be created.

How important is the Fetal Stethoscope?

A faulty device can make it impossible to hear a fetus’ heartbeat. Due to this, expecting parents may feel overwhelmed by fear and panic.

Nevertheless, it is essential to recognize some medical aspects related to fetal development and heartbeat before using a fetal stethoscope.


Photo of author

Muhammad Bilal Qayyum

MBBS from Taishan Medical University and currently working in Bahawal Victoria Hospital. The blog is a great resource for both novices and experienced users when it comes to stethoscopes. As I studied and practiced, I evaluated various models on the market, which led me to become an expert in stethoscopes.

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