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Home » Pregnancy & Baby Forums » Fetal Heart Rate



Fetal Heart Rate

Fetal Heart Rate



When will I be able to hear my baby's heartbeat?

Fetal Heart Rate

From the date of the last menstrual period, the fetal heart will begin to beat on the 22nd day of development. This means that by the 5th week of pregnancy, the heart is beating. Until week 9, the fetal heart rate will increase 3.3 beats per day. In the early stages, the fetal heart rate is approximately 80-85 beats per minute (bpm). However, by the 9th week your baby's heart beat will be in the range of 155 to 195 beats per minute. Most expectant parents say that the fetal heart rate sounds like the galloping of a horse.

Hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time is a magical moment for most expectant parents. Although the heart begins beating around the 5th week of a 40 week pregnancy, you will not be able to actually hear the heartbeat quite so early. Approximately 9 or 10 weeks after your last menstrual period, it is possible to hear the heartbeat with a special instrument called a doppler. The doppler simply bounces sound waves off of your baby's heart to produce sounds. This does not hurt you or your baby. Hearing the heartbeat this early will depend upon several factors. If you are overweight, it might be harder to hear the heartbeat.

Even though you can not hear the fetal heartbeat until week 9 or 10, ultrasound is able to see a beating heart much sooner. An ultrasound can pick up the heartbeat as a "flicker" in the chest as early as four weeks after conception. Your caregiver will listen to your baby's heart at each prenatal visit. Checking the fetal heart rate is one of the easiest ways to monitor your baby's health and condition. Your healthcare provider will check your baby's heartbeat on one of two ways. The first method is to count the number of beats for one full minute. The second method is to count the beats for 15 seconds and multiply by four. Most doctors will tell you your baby's heart rate when they are finished listening, but don't be alarmed if they forget to.

Many expectant mothers wish to monitor their baby's heartbeat at home in between prenatal visits. There are many brands of doppler-like instruments on the market and a good one can cost around $500. There are cheaper versions that are sold in department stores and most women do not have any luck with them. As nice as it would be to monitor your baby at home, you might worry needlessly about your baby if you have trouble hearing the heartbeat. After 20 weeks of pregnancy, it is possible to hear your baby's heartbeat with a stethoscope.

There is an old wives tale that supposedly predicts the baby's gender based on how fast or slow the heart is beating. Supposedly, if the fetal heart rate is above 140 you are expecting a girl. However, if the heart rate is below 140, it is supposed to be a boy. There is no evidence or statistical proof to support this theory.


Some facts
  • Stress-related changes in a pregnant woman's heart rate and blood pressure, along with chronic anxiety, can affect the heart rate of her developing fetus. link
  • Chinese researchers found that the fetuses responded to their own mother's voice with heart-rate acceleration and to the stranger's voice with a heart-rate deceleration. This also shows that your baby can already learn, remember and recognise before it's born. link
  • Does the fetal heart rate predict the sex of the baby? - A research by the University of Arkansas among 2500 pregnant women showed that this (old wives tale) is not true.




Comments: Fetal Heart Rate

Comments 1 to 24 of about 95.
1 2 3 4 Next


nice_things@ymail.com - 900 days ago.
16 weeks and baby's heart rate is 160 :))

Asheo - 1136 days ago.
This article is slightly inaccurate with saying that you can't hear the heartbeat until 9-10 weeks... I found my daughter the first time I tried at 8 weeks, 4 days with a heart rate of 174 BPM... now with my 3rd baby, believe it or not, I found her at 5 weeks, 5 days with a heart rate of 114 BPM! My pulse was at 84 so I know that it wasn't me, and the baby moved out from under my doppler and I couldn't find it again until the next day... we must take into consideration the depth in which one pushes the probe to! lol... I pushed in pretty far and angled it under my pubic bone in order to find it... I wouldn't recommend it, it leaves a sore spot... but it isn't impossible to find that early, just much more difficult.

Brisbane-mama - 1138 days ago.
Daislynn: nothing really just that your baby has a healthy heartbeat. Babies heartbeats start low and in a couple of weeks they will fasten up, then closer to birth they slow again. I have a boy and a girl and both had just about identical heartrates. Congrats on your pregnancy!!

daislynn25 - 1138 days ago.
I'm 6 weeks n a day n my Baby's heartbeats was 132 per minuet any1 knows what dat means?

mum2jesse - 1199 days ago.
had my 2nd ultrasound today - one a week ago showed a preg sac measuring 5 wks, with a yolk sac, todays showed a tiny baby with heartbeat of 112beats per min. the sonographer said sac a little small but heartrate normal for the size. cant help worrying as have had three miscarriages, one with a low heartbeat which started at 94bpm and went downhill from there until eventually stopped at 7wks. (but never grew bigger than 6wks)

Babykhan - 1212 days ago.
i had U/S at 12 weeks and 1 day, my baby's heart beat was 152!

lisaelias09 - 1252 days ago.
i went to the dr today and at 18 weeks her heart rate was 153bpm... absolutely normal then he said she may only have three valves... help me i need advice.... if there was a heart abnormality wouldnt there be some bad beating going on

shellyfield80@yahoo.com - 1298 days ago.
now days you can just use an iPhone app to monitor the baby's heartbeat, without the need of Dopler,stethoscope or other expensive devices. It requires only the iPhone mic and a set of headphones. First I was worried about cellular communication around my baby, but you just switch the iPhone to 'AIRPLANE MODE' which shuts down all communication. i tried it and it really works, heard my baby's heartbeat on my iPhone!! http://www.mybabysbeat.com or the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ0DiCfypQA

Amummyof5 - 1334 days ago.
9 weeks exactly and just heard my baby's heartbeat for the 1st time with my doppler. I could hear my heartbeat, the placenta and then the baby. It was the sweetest sound :o)x

alikay - 1334 days ago.
Went in for my 20 week U/S yesterday and we are definitely team blue! Heartrate was 126. I thought that was kind of low but she didn't say anything negative or positive about it. Should I be worried?

janet21 - 1357 days ago.
i went to the doctor 2 days ago for my first ultrasound and doctor told me my baby had no movement or heartbeat i didnt understand what was happening until nurse explained and said most likely i was having a miscarriage i cried for a whole day ultrasound showed i am only 8 weeks maybe it is still too soon. I got some blood drawn to determine how my hormone levels are this is something new to me ive never had a miscarriage before i am worried and hope everything turns out ok but i really need some advice has this happened to anyone?

GreenEyes84 - 1440 days ago.
I went for an ultrasound at 6 weeks 4 days and the fetal heart rate was 132 bpm

chickinjeans - 1470 days ago.
Kiramp... 9 weeks is very early to be looking for a heartbeat.... give it till about 11 weeks. are you slim or not so slim?? mothers weight sometimes stops heartbeats being heard in the early days... x

chickinjeans - 1470 days ago.
I bought a doppler at about 13 weeks.... I love listening to baby. Once in a while he/she hides and i cannot find it, which is a worry, but once you work out where baby lies, you get to find it most times. I am now 18+3 x

Vikki - 1486 days ago.
I bought a Doppler on ebay! It's fantastic! I've been so nervous ( lost 12 babies) and this is the BEST $69 I've ever spent!!!! The piece of mind to hear baby whenever I get the jitters! I could just cry with relief that I don't have to just wait for a Dr appointment to know that baby is ok. This is a great 'in-between' visit thing to keep me calm:-D

kiranp - 1486 days ago.
m 9 weeks preg. i went to my doc yesterday .in checkup she said everything is fine . but when she done ultrasound scanned n said there is no heartbeat coming in the chid . but the growth of the chid is good . she suggest me fo abortion . is this prob happen to anyone else. plz give me suggestion frdz..

loobeylu - 1499 days ago.
I'm almost 16 weeks pregnant and was worried so bought a baby heart beat monitor. Wish i hadnt as i couldnt hear the heart rate, all i could hear was interference, the odd thump here and there and my belly gurgling. I've had the odd bit of bleeding (only tiny amounts) recently and now i am convinced something bad has happened.

jamierh - 1518 days ago.
My babies heartbeat has been high since the beginning! It was 171 bpm at 8w1d and 161 bpm at 12w1d! I won't hear it again until Sept 9th, but I hope it's still high! :-)

keiara - 1524 days ago.
To MarchBaby.... You can't really tell the gender by the heartbeat. They say fast heartbeat means girl and slow means boy. My babies heartbeat was 186 when I was for my monthly check up and everyone told me it meant a girl. I was for my ultrasound last week and we found out we are having a boy, Just goes to show cant really tell anything from the heartbeat.

MarchBaby2011 - 1534 days ago.
Heard my baby's heartbeat at 8w4d, it was 136. Hopefully that's good! Would that be boy or girl?

AMummylove - 1538 days ago.
ready4bub... Dont stress.... Based on my period dates I should be a week in front of what I am. I was dated when I was at 6 weeks and 1 day pregnant but based on my lmp I should have been around 7.5 weeks based on lmp.. Babies heart rate was 95bpm. But they rise by 3.3 beats per day until week 9. I am now 11 weeks and 3 days... Goodluck!!

ready4bub - 1550 days ago.
Had an ultrasound today. LMP dates me at 7 weeks, 1 day, but according to measurements I am 6 weeks 4 days. Heart rate was only 58bpm. Very worried...

nolabarbie - 1576 days ago.
Hi guys I had another u/s today and my baby h/b was 119 is that to low for a 11 week old fetus last wed it was 176 I'm kind of scare and needs to know what is concider low and normal my nurse said 119 is good but that's a huge drop

veronikalg - 1579 days ago.
wow, looking over everyones heartrate for the fetals. i had an ultrasound yesterday and my midwife found my baby who was just kicking all over the place but my babys heartrate was 150, which is good. =] im happy everyones little ones are doing good.

*mommytobe* - 1580 days ago.
I am almost 16 weeks and I work at a hospital... So tonite I went into an empty room and had our doppler... I found the heart beat, then I decided to move to where I could see the clock and see what the heart rate was.... I got up moved to be able to see the clock... found the heartbeat again, then the baby moved, found it again and then baby moved!! It was a little game and eventually I gave in and left the poor baby alone!! Im sure it was thinking hey what are you doing!?? I'll have to try it again tomorrow nite. It was neat hearing it tho.


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