Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Doppler More Powerful than Ultrasound Exams

According to Anne Frye, midwife and author of "Understanding Lab Work in the Childbearing Year" (4th Ed.)p. 405:

Doppler Devices: Many women do not realize that doppler fetoscopes are ultrasound devices. (apparently, neither do many care providers. Time after time, women are assured by doctors and even some nurse midwives that a doppler is not an ultrasound device.) . . . .
Not well publicized for obvious reasons, doppler devices expose the fetus to more powerful ultrasound than real time (imaging) ultrasound exams. One minute of doppler exposure is equal to 35 minutes of real time ultrasound. This is an important point for women to consider when deciding between an ultrasound exam and listening with a doppler to determine viability in early pregnancy. . . . .
If you have a doppler, put it aside and make a concerted effort to learn to listen yourself! Save your doppler for those rare occasions when you cannot hear the heart rate late into pushing or to further investigate suspected fetal death. " copyright l990, Anne Frye, B.H. Holistic Midwifery.

Personally, after 23 years of attending births, I would not permit a doppler in my house if I were pregnant. You always know that something is ultrasound because there will be "jelly" involved. If you want a cheap listening device for the baby's heart just save the core from a roll of toilet paper. Put one end on the lower belly and the other on hubby's ear.

If you want to know your baby is doing well, count the fetal movements in a day. Starting at 9 a.m. count each time the baby kicks. There should be l0 distinct movements by 3 p.m.