Two heartbeats?

Sometimes the fetal doppler appears to pick up two separate heartbeats. Don’t panic – this does not necessarily mean you are having twins!

The way the sound waves reflect off baby’s heart sometimes causes this to occur. Be sure to count the beats of each separate heartbeat; twins will have two different heart rates.

If You Can’t Hear the Heartbeat

It is often very difficult to hear your baby’s heart beat using a fetal doppler. If you are early in your pregnancy, the heartbeat may not be strong enough to hear with this machine.

Or your baby may simply be in a position that doesn’t allow the doppler to pick up the heart rate. Whatever you do, try not to panic. Perform each test when your bladder is full, so that your uterus is pushed up closer to the face of the doppler.

If you still can’t hear the heartbeat, test again later or visit with your health care provider – she can advise you on how to use a doppler.

Other Types of Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring

You may already have heard your baby’s heartbeat during some of your prenatal appointments. Your health care provider will listen to and monitor baby’s heart rate during each checkup after eight weeks of pregnancy.

Each heart rate will be recorded in your baby’s file. Your health care provider will also use a fetal doppler to measure baby’s heartbeat. However, she may also use a couple of other techniques to perform fetal monitoring.


A Fetoscope is a listening device that looks very much like a stethoscope. It is equipped with a special headset, which allows your health care practitioner to listen to your baby’s heartbeat.

The fetoscope is simply placed on different locations around your abdomen in order to detect the heartbeat.


Electronic Fetal Monitoring

During labor and delivery, your baby’s heartbeat may also be monitored using electronic fetal monitoring. This allows your health care provider to monitor your baby’s heart rate continuously throughout labor.

If there are any sudden changes in your baby’s heart beat, electronic fetal monitoring will help to keep your physician well-informed. Electronic fetal monitoring also records the contractions that you experience during labor.

This information can be used to determine how well baby is coping with delivery.

Table of Contents
1. Checking the Heartbeat
2. How to use a doppler
3. Tips to hear baby's heart
4. Monitoring baby during labor
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