Dragon Year Babies Special – About Fetal Dopplers

With it being the Dragon year and so much hype on Dragon babies. I thought I would do a special series of blog entries for mommies to be. So let’s talk about a toy which mommies-to-be (or daddies-to-be for the matter) could consider buying.

I’m not sure if this is that common locally since most parents-to-be that I know simply do not have clue that such a gadget exists. However, if you do a quick search online, especially in the western community forums, you will find that this is highly popular over there.

So what exactly is a doppler?


According to babycenter.com.sg, Fetal Dopplers, designed for private use, are pocket-sized, battery-operated devices that send out low-frequency ultrasound waves. They usually comprise a handset of controls with a built-in speaker and a transducer which is placed against your bump. 

In short, it allows you to hear your baby’s heart beat at the comfort and in the privacy of your own home.

And how it works? 

The ultrasound waves will pass through the skin and tissue and then transferred back as the sound which we hear. Ultrasound gel is used to facilitate transmission of sound, though in some cases, some moms use Aloe vera gel instead.

Where to get it?

There are many brands and models available in the market but not so much in our local SG one though. However, with the internet, one can purchase any of your desired brands online from sites like Amazon or Ebay and have it shipped directly to you.

If you do not mind paying more, you can check out stores like Mothercare or departmental stores like Robinsons or BHG. The dopplers there would cost from S$68 to S$140. Digital dopplers would cost more as they will show the fetal heart rate on a small digital screen.

So how often should you use it?

Even though there is no scientific proof that dopplers will harm the fetus, however, it’s good to always use everything in moderation. After some research online, I personally would recommend 1-2 times a week and at short intervals of not more than 10 mins.

What else should I take note of?

Do not fret if you can’t pick up a heart beat straight away, it takes some time and practice. You are usually advised to try around weeks 10-12 onwards. As these gadgets are less sensitive than the ones at the doctor’s, they may not be able to pick up your fetus’s heartbeat so soon.

You would have to learn to differentiate the sounds you hear, it could be your blood following through an artery or your stomach making some gurgling sound. Sometimes the steady rhythm of blood flowing may sound like a fetal heart beat to you. However, do note most fetal heartbeats are much faster than our own. Going on to 150 bpm or more, some moms describe it like the sound of horse galloping while others say that its like a train going by.

Anyway, if you decide to purchase one, do have fun with it but not get obsessed with it! :)

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