Teen Mom 2's Chelsea Houska is pregnant for a second time and, understandably, crazy excited. Houska, who is expecting with fiancé Cole DeBoer, announced the news on her blog, where she revealed that she took three pregnancy tests before she was convinced her positive result was legit.
She has already shared a sonogram of her baby and most recently took to Twitter to share that she heard her baby's heartbeat for the first time — via an at-home fetal Doppler device.
I was able to find baby's heartbeat with the Doppler for the first time today I cannot handle it! I want to listen all day!— Chelsea Houska (@ChelseaHouska) July 15, 2016
Houska should be overjoyed, and it's entirely natural to want to hear her baby's heartbeat all the time. But because she isn't expected to deliver until February 2017 and is about three or four months along, it's also a bit concerning to think of her — or any mom — relying on an at-home Doppler device to provide comfort about her little one's development.
Don't get us wrong — a handheld Doppler is a magnificent technological achievement. When used sparingly, it can make parents feel more connected to their unborn child. But there are also drawbacks to the Doppler. It isn't simple to use and, when used incorrectly, can obviously cause parents an insane amount of distress. Imagine using the device the wrong way and not hearing a heartbeat weeks after you've heard one at the doctor's office — how many moms and dads wouldn't rush to the emergency room immediately?
And then there's still the question of whether it's truly safe to use a Doppler whenever it tickles your fancy. It's one thing to get scheduled sonograms every few weeks; it's quite another to introduce your fetus to ultrasound waves every other day or even every week. The long-term effects of these high-frequency sound waves, which pass through a mom's skin and tissue to reach her baby, are not yet fully understood. It seems like too big a risk to take.
Moms — and especially those who get nervous and anxious — should think twice before owning a handheld Doppler. If you're the sort of person who rushes to Google your symptoms every time you feel a sniffle coming on, it's probably best to wait for your OB-GYN appointments to hear your baby's heartbeat.
The same rule applies if you're thinking of the Doppler as a sweet way to connect with your child every evening. Until additional studies are done that put our fears about ultrasound waves to bed, it's probably a good idea to use these devices only once in a blue moon.
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