In yet another update on Alejandro’s development, I’d like to talk about a topic that I think has caused more than a few of us, new parents, some kind of anxiety, worry and so on. I don’t know about everyone else, but we, in particular, have been helped by a device we got online. It’s a portable fetal heart rate monitor. This device, which is practically an amplified microphone (listening at 3 MHZ), allows us to hear, at home, what we can normally only hear when performing an ultrasound. This allows us to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, as well as shows an on-screen estimate of the heart rate that is present.
However, it is important to note several things about this kind of device. Perhaps the most important is that it is not a medical device, nor is it for diagnostic purposes. On most of the sites where we have seen reviews of this kind of device, I don’t think this point is made clearly enough. These devices are only meant to give parents and family members a little more peace of mind during pregnancy. They do not have the same technology or capacity to analyze the heartbeat in depth, and sometimes what is shown on the screen does not always correspond to what can be heard (we have heard that the heart rate is relatively normal, while the screen says that the heartbeat is at 61 beats per minute, and then corrects and returns to 146 or 150, for example). With all these details, I do consider that if someone is reading this and that someone is like us, who wants to know, perhaps more frequently than when we visit the ultrasound center, how the baby’s heart is doing, it is a good idea to buy one of these devices. There are many types, brands and prices, and they usually cost between 25 and 35 dollars here in Mexico (there are cheaper ones, but I cannot comment on the experience).
The device basically consists of two parts: On the one hand, we have a main part, where the speaker, the screen, 3 buttons (2 to control the volume and one to turn on and off), the section for the batteries and a cable that is connected to a microphone. This microphone is what the mother will place on her belly. It is important to say that as in a regular ultrasound, it is necessary to apply some kind of conductive gel, body cream or other, so that the area where the device will move does not generate unnecessary friction or cause discomfort to the mother.
The method of use is also simple: just apply gel on the belly, turn on the device, and try to find the baby. As soon as the baby is located, the device will begin to display the sound of the heart. Although Alejandro tends to run away a lot, on occasion we have found him quieter and it has allowed us to listen to him. I also think it is important not to overuse this type of thing. I think that although they help you feel calmer and make the pregnancy happier, I imagine that the excessive use of this method could stress the baby a lot, which is something that is not very desirable either. In particular, since we are both visually impaired, we decided, first of all, to test that the device works correctly by applying its sensor to the mother’s heart. When we saw that it emitted sound and that it was constant, we proceeded to start looking for Alejandro. So far we have been hearing him a couple of times, and we are so delighted to hear that he is doing well.