A fetal heart rate is one of the most critical indicators of a baby's health. It can tell you if your baby is in distress or if everything is normal. That's why it's important to know what the normal fetal heart rate range is and how to monitor it at home. This blog post will go through the typical fetal heart rate range and how to use a fetal doppler at home to check your baby's heart rate.
What is the normal fetal heart rate range, and what do they mean?
The average fetal heart rate range is 110 to 160 beats per minute (bpm). This means that a baby's heart should beat between these numbers during both the day and night.
A baby's heart rate changes as they grow and develop during pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, a baby's heart rate is usually around 170 bpm. This gradually slows down to around 150 bpm by week 28. After week 28, the fetal heart rate should remain between 110-160 bpm until delivery.
If your baby's heart rate falls outside of this range, it could be a sign that something is wrong and you should contact your doctor.
How to monitor fetal heart rates during pregnancy?
There are a few ways to monitor fetal heart rates during pregnancy. One of the most common methods is with a fetal doppler. A fetal doppler is a small hand-held device that uses ultrasound waves to pick up your baby's heartbeat.
You can use a fetal doppler at home, but it's important to note that it is not as accurate as a fetal heart monitor used in the hospital. It's also important to make sure you are using the fetal doppler correctly, so be sure to read the instructions carefully.
Another way to monitor your baby's heart rate is with a fetal heart monitor. This is a machine that takes readings of your baby's heart rate and plots them on a graph. Your doctor may use this machine to check your baby's heart rate during prenatal appointments.
How to measure fetal heart rate using fetal doppler?
Fetal Dopplers are small and portable, making them a popular choice for home use. To measure fetal heart rate using Fetal Doppler, you will need to:
- Remove any clothing or jewelry that may interfere with the ultrasound waves
- Lube the end of the doppler probe with a water-soluble lubricant
- Apply pressure to your abdomen with your hand
- Place the doppler probe on your skin so that the ultrasound waves can penetrate through your clothing and flesh to get to the baby's heart.
- Position the doppler probe in a location where you can hear the fetal heartbeat loudest. You may need to move around until you find a spot that gives you good sound quality.
- Once you find the fetal heartbeat, you can begin to count the number of beats per minute.
- It is normal for fetal heart rate to range from 110 to 160 beats per minute.
- If you hear a heart rate that falls outside of this range or if you have any concerns, please get in touch with your doctor.
Fetal heart rate ranges for different types of pregnancies
There are different fetal heart rate ranges for different types of pregnancies:
- Early pregnancy: 110-170 bpm
- Late pregnancy: 100-160 bpm
- Preterm labor: 80-110 bpm
- Post-term: 70-100 bpm
If you are concerned about your baby's heart rate, always contact your doctor. They will be able to give you more information and advice.
What are some of the common causes of abnormal fetal heart rates?
There are a few common causes of abnormal fetal heart rates, including:
- Fetal distress
- Placental abruption
- Preterm labor
If your baby's heart rate falls outside of the normal range, it is important to contact your doctor. They will be able to determine the cause and provide treatment if necessary.
Tips for maintaining a healthy fetal heart rate during pregnancy
Here are a few tips for maintaining a healthy fetal heart rate during pregnancy:
- Eat a healthy diet and avoid processed foods.
- Get plenty of rest and sleep.
- Avoid stress and anxiety.
- Exercise regularly.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Don't smoke or drink alcohol.
Using a fetal doppler at home will help you keep an eye on your baby's heart rate. Keep in mind that a fetal doppler is not as accurate as a fetal heart monitor, so always contact your doctor if you are concerned about your baby's health. And remember to eat healthy, get plenty of rest, and avoid stress during pregnancy for a healthy baby!