Steps to Listen to Fetal Heartbeat

One of the best sounds that a pregnant mother can hear and be at ease is the steady thumping of the baby’s heartbeat. Doctors usually monitor the heartbeat of your baby using a heart rate Doppler before 20 weeks. Although it is possible to buy or rent this tool to monitor the heartbeat, the good news is that you can use a stethoscope to listen to your baby’s heartbeat after the 20th week of gestation.

The stethoscope shouldn’t be just any that you come across, you need one that is comfortable to use and has a high sensitivity. Once you have the right stethoscope from home use, the next step is to use the best process to monitor the heartbeat.

Step 1

Find a quiet space without any background noises, most preferably your bedroom. Look for a flat surface and lie on your back. You can use a massage table (if you have one) or a bed. A quiet room is ideal because background noises make it harder for you to hear the heartbeat.

Step 2

Gently feel your stomach and try and locate where the baby’s back is situated. The back feels like a smooth hard area. Do it very gently so that you don’t cause any unnecessary injuries. The baby’s back is the best place to detect the heartbeat.

Step 3

The stethoscope has two ends – the ear tips and the chest piece that are connected by tubing. The ear tips are the ones you use to listen to the heartbeat, and the chest piece is what senses the heartbeat. The tube contains a channel that transmits the sounds from the heartbeat to the ear tips. Place the ear tips into both ears and the chest piece along the back of the baby.

Step 4

Listen to these sounds coming through the ear tips for a few minutes. If at first, you don’t hear any sound, try and move the stethoscope up or down the back. Be careful not to pick up your heartbeat during the process. Hint: Don’t be worried if you don’t hear the heartbeat at first. It is usually determined by the position of the baby, pregnancy, and position of the placenta.


Knowing that your baby is safe and breathing is the best way to have peace as a mother. All you need is to use a stethoscope to listen to the heartbeat regularly.