When can I hear my baby's heartbeat?

When can I hear my baby's heartbeat?

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You may be able to hear – and see – your baby's heart beat for the first time when you're about 8 weeks pregnant if you have an early ultrasound exam.

Otherwise, you'll probably first hear it with a fetal Doppler at a regular prenatal care visit. Your caregiver may be able to find it with the Doppler as early as 10 weeks, but it's more common to hear it at 12 weeks. How early the sound can be picked up depends on your baby's position in your uterus, your weight, and the accuracy of your due date.

Checking your baby's heartbeat will become a regular part of every prenatal visit. Here are a few other things you may want to know:

  • What is a fetal Doppler? The fetal Doppler is a handheld ultrasound baby heartbeat monitor that your caregiver can use to find your baby's heartbeat. She'll cover it with ultrasound gel and move it around on your belly until she finds a spot where the heartbeat can be detected. The Doppler sends and receives sound waves that bounce off your baby's heart. In this way the fetal Doppler makes your baby's heartbeats loud enough for you to hear.
  • Can I rent or buy a fetal Doppler? Yes, you can rent or buy a Doppler for home use. However, some experts think a home Doppler isn't a good idea, because it can take considerable training and practice to find and correctly identify a baby's heartbeat.
  • What does my baby's heartbeat sound like? Many women say that the beating of their baby's tiny heart sounds like the thunder of galloping horses. Hearing it for the first time can be very moving. The heart rate of a healthy baby in the womb ranges from about 120 to 160 beats per minute. A heartbeat that's much faster or slower than that may signal heart problem.

Learn more:

Baby development in the first trimester
Talk about your baby's heartbeat with other our site parents

Watch the video: First Ultrasound - Baby has a Heartbeat! (August 2022).

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