Can Stethoscope Hear Fetal Heartbeat Sounds: Facts You Need to Know

Can Stethoscope Hear Fetal Heartbeat Sounds

Stethoscopes are amongst the most popular medical devices used by doctors all over the world. That said, you can buy a stethoscope yourself and use it for different purposes in your daily life.

That is why many parents who are expecting their baby wonder and ask, “Can stethoscope hear fetal heartbeat sounds?”

Listening to your baby’s heartbeat before he or she is even born just to make sure he or she is healthy is something that every expecting parent wants.

Also, if it is possible to hear the baby’s heartbeat through a stethoscope, how would you go about it? Fortunately, that is what this article is all about!

Can Stethoscope Hear Fetal Heartbeats?

The answer to this question is affirmative, but it can only be done after 20 weeks since the baby was conceived. Before this period comes, if you want to hear the heartbeat of your child, you will be required to visit a doctor.

Once in the medical professional’s office, he or she will be able to listen to the sounds of your baby’s’ heart using a doppler. The heart rate doppler is an ultrasound transducer which was developed for inspecting the more modest changes and reactions inside a human body.

How to Listen to Fetal Heartbeat Using a Stethoscope

You might be wondering if you will be required to purchase a specific model of this device, but it actually doesn’t matter. Of course, a more expensive stethoscope will have better sound quality, and although it would be better to purchase those models, it all boils down to personal preference.

Once you have this medical device, you will be required to follow a few simple steps to hear your child’s heartbeat for the very first time. Here is what you need to do:

Relax in a Calm Environment

The noise coming from the outside might interfere with the delicate sounds that your little one’s heart produces. For that reason, you should find a place that is extremely quiet, and relax there while lying down. This will make it easier to hear the heartbeat.

Use the Stethoscope and Find the Right Spot

The hearing device is easy to handle and use. To do so, you should put the ear tips into your ears so that they are tightly in place but comfortable. Next, you should locate the exact spot on your belly where you want to press the device to achieve the best sound accuracy.

The best place on your baby’s body for listening to its heartbeat is its back. It would seem logical that the sound would be heard better from the chest, but it’s not. This is because your baby’s chest is both turned away from the belly on the inside and since the fetus is still evolving, its heart is closer to its back.

Proper Listening

This shouldn’t be an issue if you are away from any outside sound sources. However, you want to concentrate and distinguish between your own heartbeat and that of your child. This might take you a few tries, but don’t get discouraged as it becomes easier after a period of time.

What Are the Potential Issues and Their Meaning?

If you have followed our steps correctly and have passed your 20th week of pregnancy, you should be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat. However, if you cannot hear anything, there might be an issue. Here’s a list of potential problems, but don’t panic as it’s most likely nothing serious.

Wrong Dates

You might have miscalculated the very moment your child was conceived. This would mean that your baby is still not 20 weeks old, and is the most common reason why a parent cannot hear the sound of the heartbeat using a stethoscope.

Misplaced Uterus

If your uterus is wrongly positioned, then the baby’s heart isn’t in a proper place related to the outside belly. This is another thing that isn’t dangerous to your pregnancy but will make it impossible for you to listen to the heartbeat using a stethoscope.

Too Many Layers of Fat

Having too much fat can create a barrier that blocks the sounds coming from your child’s heart. It is not a worrisome condition for your pregnancy, but it is a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle.


This is also a possibility, although an unlikely one. However, for this sole reason, it’s always recommended to visit a doctor if you can’t hear the heartbeat.


Hearing a child’s heartbeat for the first time is a source of joy for many parents. To make this possible, you will need to either visit a doctor at any time or purchase a stethoscope when your baby is already older than 20 weeks. If you can’t hear the baby’s heartbeat for some reason, it’s probably nothing dangerous for your pregnancy, but we recommend going to a doctor for a regular check-up.

Written by Must Med Tool

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