Listen to your baby

Some factors that can affect whether you can successfully hear your baby’s heartbeat.

Stage of your pregnancy. Though a baby’s heartbeat may be heard with a Stemoscope by a medical professional as early as the 16th week, it is not easy for a mom to hear it because the heartbeat sounds can be very weak. You may wait until the 25th week to try.

Position of your baby. Your baby’s position affects whether the heartbeat sounds can be transmitted to the surface of the belly. If your baby’s heart is close to the belly surface, it is easy for you to hear his or her heartbeat. Otherwise, it may still be difficult for you to hear it.

Some patience. When you try it for the first time, if you don’t know your baby’s position, you may need to spend minutes after minutes to find a location on your belly where you can hear your baby’s hearbeat. There are also some expecting moms who are not able to hear their baby’s heartbeat in their first try. Consider the process to find the best listening location a way you learn and interact with your baby. When you learn to know your baby’s position, it would be easier for you to hear it next time.

They are similar but not exactly the same. The sound you hear during a doctor visit is likely from an ultrasound machine, which provides an audible simulation of the heartbeat. While with Stemoscope, the sound is more close to that heard with a traditional fetoscope or stethoscope and it the real sound generated by heartbeat.

Stemoscope and fetal Doppler are very different, from the working mechanism to the intended use. Stemoscope is intended for recreations while fetal Doppler normally is for medical use. Here are some details.

Fetal DopplerStemoscope
UltrasoundYES. Fetal Doppler uses ultrasounds. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, the effects of excessive tissue heating and cavitation caused by ultrasounds are not known (source).NO. Stemoscope does not use ultrasound.
GelYES. Ultrasound coupling gel is needed.NO. Since no ultrasound is used, no gel is needed.
Natural soundsNO. Just provide an audible simulation of the heartbeat.YES. Stemoscope amplifies the real heartbeat sounds, which are natural.

The working mechanism is similar. Both detect the sounds from a baby’s heart. However, there are still some differences. 1. Fetoscope is difficult for a mom to use by herself, but Stemoscope can be used by a mom since it is wireless and tubeless. 2. Stemoscope amplifies the sounds through advanced signal process while a fetoscope not, Stemoscope may detect weak sounds. 3. Stemoscope can record, visualize and share the sounds. 4. Fetoscope is normally a medical device, while Stemoscope not.

No. The Stemoscope is not designed for that purpose. There are many factors that could affect whether you can successfully hear your baby’s heartbeat. An incorrect assumption about what you are hearing can be dangerous. Regardless of what you may or may not hear with a Stemoscope, talk with your doctor if you have any concerns about your baby’s health.

The earliest possible gestational week you may start to hear your baby’s heartbeat is Week 16. However, the baby is still very small, the sounds are not loud and maybe it is still difficult to hear at such an early stage. With continuous development of your baby, it gets easier to hear his or her heartbeat. We recommend you start to listen after Week 25 and the chance you can hear gets higher.

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