Hearing your baby’s heart beat is perhaps one of the most wonderful moments in pregnancy. I remember longing to hear the beautiful galloping sound of my little one’s heart. When you can hear it it is only natural to want to share this moment with others. However, it is really, really important that if ever you become worried about your baby that you contact your nearest maternity care provider immediately so you can be seen by a TRAINED PROFESSIONAL as soon as possible. They will want to listen to your baby’s heart beat for a little while to ensure all is well.
It takes a long time to learn how to interpret the fetal heart using handheld dopplers or a Cardiotocography (CTG) Machine. Even following training professionals have to annually update. This is because your baby’s heart beat is so complex. When we listen in to your baby we are not just checking the heart beat is present we are checking that it sounds healthy. When the heart beat is absent we cannot help, sadly it is too late. When it is present but sounding unhealthy, we can act to try and help your baby.
Knowing this it is easier to understand why Midwives and other professionals strongly advise pregnant mums to never use a home, hand-held device for reassurance. This will potentially delay urgent care for your baby. A risk too many Mummies and Daddies wished they had never taken.
Only a professional can give you true reassurance.
For anyone worried about hassling the ‘over-stretched’ health care system. Please do not worry. Every single professional I know would rather see you 100+ times and not find a problem than not see you and wished you had come in sooner.
In class I emphasise a lot on the importance of listening to and following your own instincts. Your natural instinct is so powerful, if you become concerned get checked out.
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