How To Hear Baby Heartbeat At Home With Stethoscope?

The joy of hearing that little one growing inside is one of the most wonderful things about being pregnant. Hearing your child’s heartbeat on an ultrasound machine at the doctor’s office may seem like enough reassurance for most parents, but how to hear a baby heartbeat at home with a stethoscope?

Put your hands around your stomach to locate the back of your child. Try to place the chest piece on this area of the stomach to hear the fetal heartbeat. It sounds like a watch ticking under a pillow. However, you can gradually change the position of the stethoscope if you fail to hear any sound. 

It may require some time to yield the desired results. However, a number of factors can impact the outcome, such as age. The following sections of the blog will help you understand these things in detail. We will also discuss some alternative choices that you can consider if the stethoscope method does not work for you.

How to hear baby heartbeat at home with  stethoscope

The stethoscope is a great tool to hear the sound of an unborn child’s heart without spending much money. It can be used by any parent who wants to record their baby’s first measurable and audible sounds during pregnancy without visiting an OB-GYN.

The following is the procedure that you need to follow if you want to use a stethoscope for hearing a baby’s heartbeat at home:

Step 1: Find the Quietest Spot in the House 

Hearing a baby’s heartbeat during the initial stages of one’s pregnancy is not as straightforward as people think. You need to find the quietest spot in the house as the sound of a fetal heartbeat is pretty minimal. 

To obtain the desired results, it is also advisable to turn off the television and any other electronic devices creating some sort of noise. The selection of a suitable location will significantly impact your results of hearing the baby’s heartbeat. 

Step 2: Relax and Lie Down

Both parents often feel excited the first time they want to hear their child’s heartbeat. However, staying calm would help you focus on detecting the heartbeat.

A bed is the best place to lie down to detect the fetal’s heartbeat. In this way, you will be able to achieve the balance and calmness necessary to hear the sound clearly.

Step 3 :Locate Baby’s Back to Record the Heartbeat

During the early stages of pregnancy, the baby’s back is the ideal position to hear the baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope. 

For this purpose, you can gently move your hands around the stomach to locate the child’s back easily. Comparatively, this section of the stomach feels hard and smooth. 

If you are having trouble locating the baby’s back initially, you can also try the trial and error method to get the job done. In this regard, you can gently move the stethoscope of the device up and down to see if it works for you.

Step 4 :Place the Stethoscope’s Chest Piece on Child’s Back

After locating the baby’s back, it’s time to utilize the stethoscope to hear the sound you are waiting for months. Insert the earpieces into your ears and try to feel that little ticking sound. 

Some parents are lucky enough to hear the sound in the first few minutes of wearing earpieces. However, that is not the case for everyone. You may have to keep changing the chest piece’s position gradually to hear the sound. 

The sound of the heartbeat resembles a clock ticking under a pillow. You will have to keep changing your device’s position around your stomach until you hear what you want to hear.

Didn’t hear the heartbeat? Here are some reasons : 

The stethoscope method does not always work for everyone. In particular, it might not be the ideal choice to hear the heartbeat between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. 

Many factors can hinder the ability of the stethoscope to detect any heartbeat sound of the baby. The following are the two most common ones among them:

Baby’s Position in the Belly Can Hinder Your Ability to Hear Heartbeat

In some cases, the position of the baby can also affect your ability to hear the fetal’s heartbeat with the help of a stethoscope. If the position of the baby in your belly is unusual, it would not be possible for you to hear the heartbeat. 

Stethoscopes May Not Work During Early Stages of Pregnancy

It is normal to hear the baby’s heartbeat with stethoscopes after the 20th week of pregnancy. Some parents are excited enough to start detecting the heartbeat after 15 weeks or so. 

The best course of action in this regard is to wait for some weeks and let the baby flourish inside the belly before going for the next try.

However, if you do not want to wait and looking for an immediate solution, we would recommend you to go for one of the following alternative methods of detecting a fetal’s heartbeat.

What Other Methods Can Help You Hear Baby Heartbeat at Home?

Using a stethoscope might be the cheapest method to hear the baby’s heartbeat during the initial stages of pregnancy. However, the effectiveness of this method differs from that of other approaches.

Let’s see what are the other choices if you cannot hear a baby heartbeat at home with a stethoscope.

Fetoscope

Fetoscope is one of the latest inventions that are nothing less than a blessing for pregnant women. Besides aiding a wide variety of medical examinations during pregnancy, it is a highly effective device that can help you hear a baby’s heartbeat if used properly.

It combines the function of a stethoscope and a Pinard hole to provide reliable examinations results. Contrary to stethoscopes, it goes directly into the uterus to obtain information about the baby.

You can do the process at home or in the hospital under the supervision of a medical practitioner to get the desired results. However, the ideal situation is to take help from a medical practitioner to hear the baby’s heartbeat with the help of a fetoscope. 

Fetal Doppler

Fetal Doppler uses ultrasound technology to provide a measurement of the fetal heartbeat. While this device is the most preferred choice of doctors and midwives, the Food and Drug Administration does not permit their home usage. 

In terms of the age of the pregnancy, the Doppler could be used as soon as 10 weeks into the pregnancy. However, I would suggest going for this one after 12 to 13 weeks of pregnancy to eliminate any possible chances of unsuccessful outcomes. 

Can You Use Mobile Apps To Hear Heartbeat?

I am not a big fan of using mobile devices for medical examinations. There are plenty of mobile apps that claim to read a baby’s heartbeat via the mac on your mobile phone. However, there is no scientific evidence supporting these claims made by mobile apps developers.

That is why I do not think using a mobile app is going to help you hear the baby’s heartbeat at home

Instead of wasting time on these types of things, you should consult a proper medical examiner if you are really interested in hearing the ticking heartbeat of a baby.

Right Time To Hear Heartbeat Of Your Baby :

Using a stethoscope to hear a baby’s heartbeat might be a time-taking process, but it does not involve any safety hazards. You can wait for some days to try again if you fail to hear the heartbeat on the first attempt. With that said, do you know when is the ideal time to hear the baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope?

A stethoscope is likely to give accurate results after 20 weeks of pregnancy. However, some mothers even find them successful in hearing the heartbeat as soon as the 18th week of the pregnancy. 

If you are not successful at hearing the baby’s heartbeat even after the 20th week, please do not panic. It is normal for some people not to be successful at hearing the heartbeat during the initial months of pregnancy. 

However, I would suggest you pay a visit to the OB-GYN’s office near you to be on the safer side. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Hear Baby’s Heartbeat Through the Tummy?

You can hear your baby’s heartbeat through the tummy by using a stethoscope. You will be able to listen to the strong and rhythmic thump of the tiny heart beating in sync with you. However, you use other methods such as Fetoscope and Fetal Doppler if the stethoscope fails to provide the desired output. 

Do Baby Heartbeat Apps Really Work?

I do not think that the baby heartbeat apps work because there is no scientific evidence to support the claim. However, if you want to hear a real-time heartbeat, then try using a stethoscope at home. You can place it over your belly after putting gel on both hands.

If unsuccessful, you can always go to a doctor and have your baby’s heartbeat checked with an ultrasound machine if you are worried about it.

When Can I Hear My Baby’s Heartbeat at Home?

It depends on the type of equipment you are using. You can hear your baby’s heartbeat as early as 10 weeks if you are using a Fetal Doppler device.

However, with a Stethoscope, it is possible to hear the beat of your tiny little one from the twentieth week onwards. The earlier you get connected to your baby’s life in utero, the better it is for you.

Final Words

Hearing a baby’s heartbeat at home is not a difficult task with the right tools. Using a stethoscope, you can hear your baby’s heartbeat at home after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

If the heartbeat is not audible on a stethoscope, do not worry, as it might be difficult to spot it at times in the early stages of pregnancy. Make sure that your baby’s head and neck are aligned properly while trying to hear its heartbeat with the help of a stethoscope or Doppler.

 Also, try to find the heartbeat at different times of the day, as it might be difficult for you in some cases. However, if the stethoscope is not working fine, then you can go for an ultrasound test.

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If you can find the back of the baby, place the chest piece over the stomach there. You can hear the ticking heartbeat after moving the chest piece gradually. 

 

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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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