Fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring is a proven means of assessing fetal health during the antenatal period. Currently, the only widely available instrumentation for producing these data is based on Doppler ultrasound, a technology that is unsuitable for long-term use. For nearly a century, it has been known that the fetal Photoplethysmography (FPPG) can be detected using electrodes placed on the maternal abdomen. The paper describes the design, construction and use of a compact, long-term recorder of three channels of 24 h antenatal trans abdominal data. Preliminary use of the recorder in around 400 short recording sessions demonstrates that FHR records of equivalent quality to those from Doppler ultrasound based instruments can be extracted from such data. The success of FHR derivation is, on average, around 65% of the recording period from around 20 weeks gestation (although this figure is reduced from around 28 32 weeks, and the success rates exhibit a wide range when individual subjects are considered). These results demonstrate that the technique offers, not only a means of acquiring long-term FHR data that are problematic to obtain by other means, but also a more patient-friendly alternative to the Doppler ultrasound technique.