Fetal heart monitors have been used for years in and out of the hospital to check the baby's heart rate. These can be large machine versions that are used during labor and delivery or they can be small handheld versions that can be bought or rented for at home use.

While the use of one is not required at home it is nice to have one to share the heart beat with other people who could not otherwise share in the wonderful events to come. Fetal heart monitors use ultrasound waves to detect the movement of the heart and turns that movement into a visual record and sound wave. This allows the doctor and parents to receive accurate real time information about how the baby's major organ is working and if there is any cause for alarm.

A lot can be told from the fetus's heart rate; whether or not the child is stressed out, if there is cause for further treatment to determine what is causing the stress, as well as many other things. These monitors range in cost and can be rented as well. The amount that you spend depends on what is available to you. While insurance will cover your fetal monitoring at the doctor's office most often times they will not cover an at home fetal monitor.

Your doctor might know someone who has one that they are no longer using, or might even know of a place that you can get one at little or no cost to you. Searching the web for the best deal is sometimes a must when money is an object you seem to have little of. Sometimes if you find you cannot afford the monitor you might be able to find one that someone else is not using theirs and purchase them or borrow from them.

When checking your baby's heart rate a few things to look for are the heart rate is a steady beat and is between 120 and 160 beats per minute, and that it is not sluggish. A lower heart rate or sluggish heart rate could be a sign of stress on the baby. During labor the baby's heart rate is expected to fluctuate however there are signs to look for that are not normal for the child to experience during the labor and delivery phase. These signs are dips in heart rate during contraction that continues on until the next contraction hits, and loss of the heart beat during contractions. These could be signs that the baby is under too much stress and needs to be taken immediately.

While monitoring the heart rate at home rarely there will be cause for alarm. However, if your child's heart rate is bothersome to you then you should seek out your doctor's advice. Working together with your doctor is the most important thing during this wonderful and eventful time in your life. A Fetal Heart Monitor is just one way to expand your experience to include outside family members that otherwise would not be involved as well as monitor things at home when need be. These tests while they vary in cost are being used worldwide to assist with pregnancies and bringing families together in this wonderful time.