Fetal heart rate by week: table

When a woman is pregnant, her uterus gradually developing body of the fetus. One of the important signs of its activity are the reduction heart. The output of heart rate outside the norm may indicate the presence of problems that sometimes need to be resolved quickly.

Most women dream to hear the heartbeat of their child. This sound is one of the most calming sounds available. In the early stages of pregnancy the heart is tube-like, which is further subdivided, forming the heart chambers and valves. In the 5th week of gestation, the heart tube begins to contract spontaneously. At this period a normal fetal heart rate heart rate roughly coincides with the mother, accounting for 80 – 85 beats per minute. From this point the heart rate begins to increase about 3 beats per minute per day during the month. This growth is so precisely observed that doctors can even use the growth of the fetal heart rate for weeks to determine term of gestation.

By the beginning of 9 weeks of pregnancy the fetus ‘ heart is reduced with a frequency of about 175 beats per minute. From this moment begins a slow decline in heart rate, up to 12 weeks 120 – 180 beats per minute, which is the average for the entire pregnancy. In the last 10 weeks of fetal development fetal heart rate slows down a bit. Of course, the baby’s heart rate may naturally be changed as an adult. These changes can be explained by movements, sleep and other physiological causes.

Table. The normal fetal heart rate according to gestational age

The term of gestation

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Normal fetal heart rate

5 weeks (the beginning of heartbeat)

80-85 beats per minute

5 weeks

In the early – 80 beats per minute; in the end is 103 beats per minute

6 weeks

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In the beginning – 103 beats per minute; at the end of 126 beats per minute

7 weeks

In the beginning – 126 beats per minute; in the end is 149 beats per minute

8 weeks

In the beginning – 149 beats per minute; in the end is 172 beats per minute

9 weeks

In the beginning – 155 beats per minute; in the end is 195 beats per minute

12 weeks

120 – 180 BPM (average 150 BPM)

A woman can hear the heartbeat of her baby while conducting the ultrasound examination.

How is the measurement of fetal heart rate?

A woman can hear the heartbeat of her baby while conducting the ultrasound examination. As a rule, it is carried out in 10 – 12 weeks of gestation. The ability to «hear» the baby’s heartbeat depends on its position in the uterus, weight of pregnant women and characteristics of the device for examination. At 18 – 24 weeks, as a rule, carried out the echocardiography of the fetus, which can be used to detect congenital heart disease and measure heart rate. From 20 weeks gestation, doctors can determine the heart rate using the obstetric stethoscope.

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To measure the heart rate of the fetus is the fetal heart rate monitoring. There are two types:

  • External fetal monitoring – this method is used to determine the heart rhythm through the abdominal wall. One type of external monitoring is listening to the heartbeat of the fetus by obstetric stethoscope. Another method consists of applying ultrasonic Doppler determination of heart rate. This method is often used during prenatal visits and during labor. To determine the heart rate for a pregnant belly is attached to the sensor that picks up reflected from the heart of the child of ultrasonic waves. The sensor is connected to the apparatus, which records and prints the information. There are also devices for carrying out a Doppler fetal monitor at home.
  • Internal fetal monitoring – definition of indicators of the fetus is within the uterus. To do this, the doctor widens the cervix up to 2 cm and the amniotic bag breaks, and then turns the electrode into the uterus and attaches to the scalp of the child. Sensor are electrodes attached to the thigh with a strap. When conducting internal monitoring does not use ultrasound. It is also possible to obtain the heart rate of the fetus, and print the results on paper. Internal fetal monitoring is much more precise external.

Violation of the fetal heart rate

Usually, the normal fetal heart rate is around 110 – 160 beats per minute, although the indicators are normal can be 170 – 180 beats per minute and even up to 100 beats per minute. If the child has unusually high or low heart rate may indicate the existence of problems with the fetus. Fluctuations in the fetal heart rate can be attributed to the following causes:

  • Excessive physical load of the mother.
  • Psychological or emotional stress in the mother.
  • Problems with the umbilical cord (e.g., its entanglement around the neck).
  • Problems with the placenta.
  • Other serious pregnancy complications (e.g. preeclampsia).

Is it possible for heart rate to determine sex of the baby?

There is an opinion that the heart rate of the fetus can also see who will be born – a boy or a girl. It is assumed that the heart rate above 140 beats per minute indicates a girl, and below on the boy. However, research has disproved this tale, showing that the sex of the baby is not related to his heart rate during intrauterine child.

How to maintain the health of the heart in the fetus?

To preserve heart health recommended:

  • To take folic acid, which helps to prevent the development of congenital heart defects in the fetus.
  • To give up Smoking.
  • In the presence of diabetes or gestational diabetes should carefully control the level of glucose during pregnancy.
  • Do not drink alcoholic beverages and drugs
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