When does a midwife start using a doppler scan? - NCT


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When does a midwife start using a doppler scan?

Supermummy profile image

Hi Ladies

Im 23weeks pregnant and I just wanted to ask if it's a normal procedure for a midwife not to use the doppler scan to listen to the baby's heart beat and to only start from 28weeks.? I was concerned as I've had feeling of what I'd describe as contractions and told her about this she didn't even come close to my tummy she said it's probably the baby if the contractions get worse go to A&E...she was in a rush and she went out of the room twice in my appointment to speak on the phone. I have had to pay for a private midwife because she hasn't been reliable she also said I can't have two midwifes (a private one and one on the NHS) is this right? I'm confused unhappy and stressed!any views on this will be really appreciat

26 Replies

Hi, oh my gosh That's very bad she seems like a very useless midwife, especially when you expect your midwife to be the one to put you concerns to bed and make you feel like she listens and cares I'd put a complaint in to the place where you see your midwife because that's not on!. My midwife used a doppler to listen to my baby's heart beat at my appointment with her when I was 16 weeks pregnant. And she's very caring and Lovely always got time to listen to me and address my concerns and worries. That's what they are supposed to be like as it a very special but hard time for a woman when your pregnant and you need a supportive midwife, defiantly get a complaint in. :) hope everything turns out OK xx

Thanks for your reply shereegreen Im am very stressed with the whole situation especially as shes the only midwife here in our clinic as we live in a village..so I'm a bit hesitant in complaining about her. Do you have any idea as to when they should start using the doppler scan on you..? She said from 28weeks but I can't believe that!

I too had the Doppler from about 16 weeks. If worried you can buy your own as they are only about £30 but eBay has second hand ones cheaper.

But your midwife does sound really bad.

Kate91 profile image
Kate91 in reply to emmab178

Should not use your own ppl are trained to use them my motherwas a midwife and she said the amount of women that didnt come in when they didnt feel movement cos they thought they had babies heart beat but it was their own and loads of people coming in cos they simple couldnt find babys heart beat was insane it does midwives heads in

emmab178 profile image
emmab178 in reply to Kate91

That maybe but the documentation they give you now only states not to rely on them after the third trimester and movement is a better indicator. Which i fully agree with.

Since i went through ivf and was extremely anxious I found it very useful in the weeks that it was too early to feel movement. It's alot cheaper than getting a weekly scan to settle your nerves.

However the first few times i was probably listening to my own heartbeat but after 12 weeks the babies position allowed me to pick her up immediately. My heartbeat or hers it allowed me to be less stressed so did its job. I never went anywhere near the midwife as I'd read the pros and cons.

I'd buy one knowing the pitfalls vs not getting anything checked by my midwife till 23 weeks.

Supermummy profile image
Supermummy in reply to Kate91

Thanks for your reply I don't have my own doppler scan I know I can buy one but as you said I think I'll leave it to the professionals. Do you by any chance know if using a doppler scan alot can effect your baby at all.?

Kate91 profile image
Kate91 in reply to Supermummy

It should not do as all its doing is picking up sound of babies heart beat. I was in for ultrasounds eveey 3 weeks during my last trimester this time round and my son was born fine

Ribena1987 profile image
Ribena1987 in reply to Kate91

People are advised not to use them as some people confuse the sound of the placenta with the babies heartbeat. I bought a Doppler and used it from 16 weeks. Whilst I use the Doppler I also ensure that I can hear/feel the baby's movements too. I feel that as long as movements are taken into account, home Dopplers are brilliant. Especially as midwives don't bother to check the heartbeat until 28 weeks. Some mothers just want the reassurance.

My midwife didn't listen in till 28 weeks I think. I remember asking at 16 weeks first time, second pregnancy (different midwife)... she said we could try but wouldn't pursue it further if she couldn't find it as it's common not to find it at this stage. At 20 weeks had ultrasound and then I think it must have been 28 weeks when they first listened in with the Doppler.

I presume most people wouldn't continue seeing the NHS midwife if they were seeing a private one too as you would be seeing them at similar time periods anyways.

Re contractions they can happen In pregnancy, normally in the third trimester tho, and as long they aren't continuous becoming stronger and painful or accompanied by waters breaking/bleeding aren't normally of concern.

Thanks for your reply. It can be a little frightening when you don't know what it is. I do have a private midwife too but I thought having two views would be better than one. I don't think the NHS midwife was too happy that I had a private midwife too she literally said either me or her..even though I know I'm entitled to the NHS midwife too. I was wondering if you know if the doppler scan can effect the baby in any way..?or if having too many of them effects the baby..?

The Doppler is safe doesn't affect baby at all. Similar to an ultrasound uses sound waves.

I think having two views is probably a bad idea if you weren't happy with the first midwive. I'm surprised you get to see the same midwife tho... I live in a city and I see a few different midwives depending on we're their shifts are that week as thru cover other places and home births etc

Thanks for your reply. We have one midwife as we live in a village covering a big area....but I don't always get to see her sometimes she's not there and someone else covers her.

Kate91 profile image
Kate91 in reply to Supermummy

Most small areas are like this and only have one communty midwife

Yes its quite normal

Also simply request another midwife at your hospital. Or stop seeing nhs one and keep private midwives are short staffed as it is. If you can afford the private one let someone who cant have your nhs appointments.

Braxton hicks contractions are practice ones and normal read up on them as they do have some differences to the real deal

Supermummy profile image
Supermummy in reply to Kate91

Unfortunately theres only one midwife in our area and she is a waste of space! I have been forced to pay privately and we are suffering financially I am entitled to an NHS midwife we pay enough taxes and not getting the right help it's very sad.

Thanks for your reply I will look into Brixton hicks. I don't remember having them with my first baby...but then again I can't remember much from then. Thanks again!

Hi there, i am also in 23weeks, my next appointment is on 16/10. Midwife told me to come fasting from the night 10pm till ultrasound. I think you can also see your midwife around 26th to 28th weeks to clarify your doubts.

Thanks and good luck in your pregnancy!

I'm so confused has to why she didn't use the Doppler at the 16 week check up? I was told that was so I could hear the babies heart beat. My friend has a Doppler and I was tempted a few times but I know it would make me paranoid and I would want to use it all the time. Do you see the same midwife every time? I've seen a different one each time I have been in. I am 22 + 2 by the way x

roxannacar profile image
roxannacar in reply to Ljg1991

The reason I was told is that it isn't always easy to find the heart beat at 16 weeks. Yes it would present but the Doppler isn't as precise as an ultrasound

Things are done differently in different counties in the UK. If you live in a village there will be one midwife that visits your dr surgery. However if she is full up then you should be able to go to the midwife unit/hospital she works for an appointment. Where will you birth your baby? Go there for your appointments? Yes, the nhs midwives will sometimes take it personally if you are seeing a private one as well, as they are overworked, so maybe don’t mention it if you want to see both?

Research birthing units /midwife lead or hospital wards in your area and travel to them for your appointments, petrol costs prob still lower than going private xx

Hi, my midwife checked the heartbeat with the doppler at every appt i had. If she isnt checking until week 28 Id ask her to do it. If she refuses then go with the complaint and get yourself to the maternity clinic at your local hospital. I can see someone mentioned braxton hicks. I got BH contractions from about week 19 onwards. Also its common to get pains between wk 18 -22 when your uterus is going through alot of stretching at this stage.

Thanks for your reply. I will definitely put in a complaint if she doesn'tcheck it by then. I've been wanting to complain about her for a while but since she's the only midwife here I've been very hesitant about it.

I mean this in a nice way but honestly it's a little unclear why you still even want to see her? As you clearly think she's a waste of space?

In my health trust they only listened with a Doppler from 28 weeks too. I don't think this is at all unusual, and perhaps you're being a little harsh about it. By all means complain f you think you've been unfairly or improperly treated, BUT if what you're complaining about is the 28 week thing and that's the procedures in that particular trust then don't expect much to come of that complaint.

If your worried about something I think I have a right to be checked by the doppler from the midwife I don't think I'm being harsh at all and actually I think I'm being too forgiving esp as she was in and out of phone calls and not giving me the time of day. People depend on their health they are supposed to be professional but there wasn't anything professional about this midwife. I am stuck with someone I'm not happy with and that is really frightening.

Mels27 profile image
Mels27 in reply to Supermummy

Except you're not. You have a private one. Sorry if this sounds harsh. Did you ask them to check with a Doppler? I realise I sound harsh but surely not liking a doctor/ midwife etc is a risk you take living in a village with only one midwife?

If you're having contraction like sensations surely you need to go to your hospital pregnancy unit? To get assessed. That doesn't sound like something community midwives in even big cities would be happy to deal with in all honesty. I'm not sure checking with a Doppler is sufficient checks in those circumstances. Have you considered going to your hospital unit?

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