The idea of listening to your baby’s heartbeat in the comfort of your own home sounds pretty appealing. And if you flip through baby and pregnancy magazines, chances are you might run across an ad featuring a handheld Doppler heart rate monitor that you can use at home. But should you buy a handheld Doppler?
Portable Doppler ultrasound devices that you can buy online are pocket-sized, battery-operated machines that are placed on your belly, and they send out high-frequency ultrasound waves. The waves pass through your skin and bounce back. The bounce is translated into a sound that you can hear.
Dopplers are perfectly safe to use over a long period of time. In fact, the British Medical Ultrasound Society issued a statement in 2000 that basically said that there has been no evidence that using ultrasound technology – Dopplers included – will harm a pregnancy. Ultrasounds have been used safely for the last 40 years without any problem.