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A Doppler fetal monitor is a device that uses ultrasound technology to detect the heartbeat of an unborn fetus, while it's still in the mother's womb. There are various different kinds out there with different capacities, including cameras so that you can see what's happening inside just as you can in an ultrasound scan at the hospital. The Angelsounds Doppler is one of the more basic types out there, and whether it will suit your needs depends on exactly what you want from it.
I bought an Angelsounds Doppler as I only needed something simple so that I could hear the baby's heartbeat. My Angelsounds Doppler was a bargain at £8.50 from Ebay- after some relentless bidding- they cost about £16 new and if I hadn't been able to get a second hand one then I would have bought a new one anyway, as it can always be resold. The main reason I wanted it was not to reassure myself that baby was okay, as I don't believe that it would help to use the Doppler to find that baby wasn't okay (since it cannot be used for prevention of anything) - I bought it because could feel tiny flutterings of the little bubba in my tummy from 12 weeks and I felt sorry that my husband couldn't experience them too - we share everything, and I really wanted him to.
The Doppler came supplied with a set of headphones and 9v battery. As it was second hand, it had no instructions and no recording device, though I wouldn't have used the latter anyway and I didn't actually need the former. The Angelsounds Doppler is a very simple battery-powered device, and the speakers are obviously very cheap quality, but I found that they worked fine nevertheless. You need to use a gel on your tummy before you can use the Doppler- I already knew this as I had had an ultrasound scan already- and I thought I'd try Palmer's Cocoa Butter as that is what I've been using to keep my belly soft as it stretches. It worked a treat.
The best thing about the Angelsounds Doppler is how amazing it is to hear the little bubba's heartbeat in there.. My husband was over the moon and he felt very reassured knowing that he could listen to the little bubba at any time. Sometimes we could hear sloshing around too, from her movement or from the placenta.
From 15 weeks I no longer needed the Doppler, as baby was kicking so much that hubby could feel her most nights. I resold my Doppler on Ebay for roughly the same price I bought it. I will give a word of caution however, which is that there is not much research out there on into how often the Doppler can be used - I'm not suggesting that it is dangerous in any way, but it is fairly new technology, and should be used with some caution. What I'm saying is, don't use it for hours at a time every day. The Angelsounds Doppler is not that powerful, but it's always good to be on the safe side I think.
I don't have any negatives about the Doppler, although I know of people panicking when they can't find/hear the baby's heartbeat. In my experience, these are people who bought the Doppler to reassure themselves, which, as I said, was not my reason for buying it. I also never had trouble locating the heartbeat - I literally found it within a minute every time, partly because baby was lying very low down (I knew from my ultrasound scan), so I knew roughly where to find it. My midwife has also always found the heartbeat with ease, though I know that this is not the case with all mothers, so please do not panic if you can't find your little one right away! And if you do have worries, always get checked out.