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Foetal Heartbeat
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 Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am exactly 12 weeks pregnant. I went for my regular check up and the doctor was not able to hear the heart beat of the baby. Is this normal?

Minal (Seneca Falls, USA)

A: When you mean hear the heart beat of the baby---do you mean by a doppler soniket or a ultrasound or was she trying to hear it by some other method. One can pick up the fetal heart beat as early as 10 weeks with a doppler soniket and can visualize it on sonography as early as 7 weeks. It can be heard by a stethoscope not before 24 weeks so please clarify --- It is most advisable for you to go in for a ultrasound to check for fetal viability.

Dr. Sahni

Q: When can you start to feel or hear the baby's heartbeat inside your stomach?

Simeen (Denver, U.S.A.)

A: You can hear the foetal heartbeat on sonography with colour Doppler from the 9th week onwards. You can feel the foetal movement in the 18th - 19th week of pregnancy.

Q: I am 6 weeks pregnant. The doctor could not locate the heartbeat of the foetus. However, he said that there was nothing to worry about, and that I should have another sonography next month. Is this a normal thing or is something wrong?

Arifa (Denver, India)

A: There is no need to worry if there no cardiac activity at this early stage. It is only around this time that the heart activity begins and often it may not get picked up by the sonography. There is absolutely no cause for alarm.

Dr. Sahni

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