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How to Hear Your Baby's Heartbeat Using a Stethoscope

author image Wallis Bishop
Wallis Bishop began writing in 2002. She specializes in issues related to child health, development and parenting. She spent five years teaching toddler and preschool age children and holds a bachelor's degree in psychology, with a specialization in infant and toddler mental health.
How to Hear Your Baby's Heartbeat  Using a Stethoscope
Stethoscope. Photo Credit: Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images

One of the most reassuring sounds a pregnant mother can hear is the steady thumping of her baby's heartbeat. Before 20 weeks of pregnancy, fetal heartbeats are typically monitored by doctors using a heart rate Doppler. While buying or renting an at-home Doppler is possible, it is often too expensive. Thankfully, after 20 weeks a baby's heartbeat can often be heard using a relatively cheap and easy-to-procure stethoscope.

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Step 1

Lie on your back in a quiet space. Background noise will make it more difficult to hear your baby's heartbeat.

Step 2

Feel your stomach and try to locate your baby's back. This will feel like a smooth hard area. It is the best location to detect a fetal heartbeat.

Step 3

Place the ear tips of the stethoscope in your ears and the chest piece along your baby's back.

Step 4

Listen carefully for a few minutes. If you do not hear your baby's heartbeat, try moving the stethoscope up or down on your baby's back. Be aware that you may pick up your own heartbeat as well.

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