Fetal Heart Rate

Fetal Heart Rate

Listening to the very first signs of life


Looking for a heart beat


Ever since you discover that you are pregnant, the one thing you are most excited about is hearing the ‘thump thump’ sounds of the baby’s heartbeat. It is the most reassuring sound for every mom-to-be. Even if it sounds just as same throughout pregnancy, there are many changes that occur to the heart and the circulatory system.


What is fetal heart rate? 



The sound generated by a baby’s heartbeat is known as fetal heart sound. The number of fetal heart sounds recorded in one minute is known as fetal heart rate. The baby’s heart sounds can be used as indicators for the state as well as the stage of pregnancy, and it can even be used to point out any abnormalities. Fetal heart rate is between 120 to 160 beats per minute in a normal healthy pregnancy.


When does the heart begin to beat?



Doctors know that the heart muscle known as myocardium is formed approximately 3 weeks after conception. However, at this stage the generated heart beat is very low to be picked up on a sonogram. By the end of 6 weeks, the fetal heart sounds can be clearly heard on an ultrasound. At the end of 9 to 10 weeks, the baby’s heart sounds are strong enough to be heard on a doppler machine. The baby’s heart rate increases as the pregnancy advances.


Listen to the heart sounds in a mother who is carrying twins in this exciting video.


Source: Jessica hamilton


Can fetal heart rate predict gender? 


No. This old wives’ tale just refuses to die. The fetal heart rate has nothing to do with the gender of the baby, though there are many myths surrounding it. Even scientific studies have proven that there is no connection between the fetal heart rates and the gender of the baby.


What does a baby’s heartbeats sound like?



Source: health.mil


You may have heard many mothers saying that a baby’s heartbeats sound like a galloping horse. However, you need to ensure that it is the baby’s heart sounds that you are listening to during an antenatal visit. Very often, the umbilical pulsations can be mistaken for fetal heart sounds. Remember that the umbilical cord makes a whooshing sound, but a baby’s heartbeat can be distinctly heard on a doppler making a steady thumping sound.


Know the difference between a mother and baby’s heart sound in this video.



Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.

Also read: Fetal Weight



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