Doppler Safety

Here is some up-to-date information on doppler on safety, presented in an unbiased and complete manner. One important point to remember, however, is that it is always a good idea to consult with your physician on this matter. The reason being that there are differing opinions on the safety (frequency) of home use. For example, during my own pregnancies, my GP recommended no more than once a day, while my OBGYN literally laughed and said as often as I wanted was okay. Honestly, though, I personally rarely listened more than once a day. My children are now 6 and 3 and are doing very well. I hope this information is helpful to you.

Fetal Doppler Safety (Click here to link directly to site where this info is found)

Diagnostic ultrasound is one of the safest means available for obtaining the necessary information about your unborn baby (or babies). While many tests are continually conducted by manufacturers and the U.S. government, results in the past have indicated no adverse side effects.

Your caregiver keeps up-to-date on developments in this field and is well qualified to judge the risks and benefits of any medical procedure, including ultrasound examination.

*The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) has addressed the concerns relating to the safety of ultrasound and has issued the following statement as of March 1993: "Diagnostic ultrasound has been in use since the late 1950's." Given its known benefits and recognized efficacy for medical diagnosis, including use during human pregnancy, the AIUM herein addresses the clinical safety of such use:

"No confirmed biological effects on patients or instrument operators caused by exposure at intensities typical of present diagnostic ultrasound instruments have ever been reported. Although the possibility exists that such biological effects may be identified in the future, current data indicate that the benefits to patients of the prudent use of diagnostic ultrasound outweigh the risks, if any, that may be present."

Most manufacturers of diagnostic fetal doppler heart monitors have always made every effort to use as low an ultrasound power as practical. The level of ultrasound power emitted is not adjustable on a fetal doppler unlike that of a sonograph. Prudent use on the mother's part would include minimizing the length of time that she listens to the baby's heartbeat on each occasion.

Are they safe? (Click here to link directly to site where this information is found)

There is no scientific research available to suggest that ultrasound is unsafe. In 2002, the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) issued a statement confirming that there has never been any evidence of harm resulting from the use of ultrasound in pregnancy. However, the technology behind ultrasound scanning is complicated and it's important to remember that this research was based on the work of health professionals, who have been trained in its use under strict guidelines.

Ultrasound guidelines include not exposing a woman or her baby to any unnecessary exposure of ultrasound just for the sake of it. As Shirley Andrews, a senior midwife ultrasonographer in Leeds, writes in Practising Midwife magazine, "Ultrasound is not a toy."

There are different types of ultrasound waves -- pulsed and continuous -- and the ones used in a hand-held Dopplers are different to those used in the larger scanning machines found in hospitals. Dopplers appear to use mainly continuous waves and many researchers feel there still needs to be more research on the possible effects of their use.

While there is no evidence as yet that Dopplers are harmful in any way, there is also no research available to show the effects of a mother using a Doppler to listen to her baby two or three times a day throughout pregnancy. My answer is, therefore, that we do not know if Dopplers are 100 per cent safe for such use. If you do decide to buy or hire one, you may like to be cautious about how often you use it.