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Pregnancy Topics..

You are here : home > Pregnancy > The Normal Pregnancy > Foetal Heartbeat and Movements

Foetal Heartbeat and Movements

All parents are eager to hear the heartbeat of foetus for the first time. They also wait desperately wait for that first kick. Here is what you can expect about the foetal heartbeat and movements.

You must have been waiting to listen to her heartbeat from the time you came to know about your pregnancy. Hearing her heartbeat and feeling her move are certainly the most coveted moments that you both must be waiting for eagerly. Your baby goes through a lot of changes with heart pumping and circulatory system developing now.

In the initial stages her heart shall look like a tube that divides and twists. In course of time, it shall develop valves and by the 5th week it shall start pumping too. However, you shall not be able to hear her hurt pumping this week.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let us now take a look at some frequently asked questions related to foetal heartbeat and movements.

I am in my third month and cannot hear my baby's heartbeat.

Only a highly sensitive instrument like the Doppler can pick up the foetal heartbeat by the 10th or 12th week. An ordinary stethoscope can pick it up only in the 17th or 18th week. Sometimes the baby's position or the mother's layers of excess fat prevent one from picking up the heartbeat. There is also the possibility that you could have miscalculated your date. So just have patience and do not worry. Still, if you like, you can request your doctor for an ultrasound, which is sure to pick up the foetal heartbeat. Quite like music to your ears.

How can I identify a foetal movement?

You can look out for it between the 14th  and 25th week or more likely between the 18th and 22nd week. It is difficult to describe, though you could expect a fluttering in the abdomen, or a bump, nudge, twitch or bubbly feeling. Some of you may have mistaken foetal movements for gas or hunger pangs.

I don't think my baby is kicking, but I feel regular spasms on and off.

This could well be your baby's hiccups. It could happen several times a day upto a stretch of 20 mins. There is no cause for concern as hiccups are not a source of discomfort to babies as they are to adults.

Ensuring Good Health of Baby's Heart

Since your baby is developing fast and going through a lot of changes, it can have a lot of impact on her heart. Genetic abnormalities and chromosomal abnormalities are certain conditions that cannot be overlooked. Thus, below are shared some tips that you can consider to keep her health in good condition. Take a look:
  • It is very important you take your folic acid supplements daily. These supplements are known to be extremely beneficial to keep away such heart problems.
  • Ifyou are still into the smoking habit, get rid of it as early as possible. The vessels and valves in her heart get affected majorly with your smoking habits.
  • Chances of gestational diabetes ad Type 2 diabetes also increase problems like heart ailments. So, you need to have controlled diet when you have diabetes.
  • You should also refrain from recreational drugs and alcohol now.

Baby Movements in the Third Trimester

You shall experiencedifferent movements in different stages of pregnancy. You might not be able to experience much foetal movements in the first trimester. Your little one is deep inside you and is not strong enough to let you feel her inside.

It is quite different in the second trimester when she is thrashing, kicking and sucking. You shall be able to feel her movements and it may feel like a muscle spasm now. While she gets more and more acrobatic, you shall be able to feel her move. You should not be worried if you do not feel her moving for quite some time. She is still tiny and it is normal for her movements to be irregular. You shall be able to meet your baby during the ultrasound scans and see how she is doing.

Her movements shall become cramped in the third trimester. You shall be able to feel her strong punches now. Again, you should not be worried if you do not find her very active all the time. You may also feel her hiccups sometimes now. However, there is no reason to worry about it, as this too is very normal.

Make sure to inform your doctor if you experience any drastic change in her movements or heartbeat. Your doctor shall diagnose you and suggest necessary solutions to ensure you continue to enjoy a healthy pregnancy. So, do not hesitate to visit your doctor whenever in doubt.

When can pregnant mothers expect the first kick of their babies? During which stage of pregnancy can doctors track the heartbeat of baby? How are foetal heartbeats and movements monitored? Discuss here.

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Namrata.5 years ago
Hi Dr. According to my lmp date I am 9 weeks pregnant. I went for an ultrasound in last week dr. Said the fetal development is very less and sac looks like a month and a half pregnancy.. I also had spotting around the time I usually have periods but no bleeding after that. Today at 9 weeks , I am getting sharp pain on both sides especially left lower abdomen but no bleeding. Also constipated and worried
Priti.7 years ago
Ultrasound report of my wife in early seventh month says"Intrauterine gestation, FHR 154 bpm. Regular movements, normal, Transverse lie, placenta posterior, Gr.I maturity, no previa, afluid adequate for age, largest pocket5.3 cm AFI 11.2cm, U cord normal three vesselee".Does this mean that she can never have normal delivery?
Annu.8 years ago
i was having vomitting and morning sickness after i missed my periods. the urine test for pregnancy was positive. but after two days no signs of vomitting and morning sickness is there. is it ok or harmful?
Kumud.8 years ago
we are planning for are second baby.i had iud for 4 years are there any side effects of that?
cristyn.8 years ago
everybody talks about feeling the babies hiccups, im 6 months & never have, is that normal?
Nadine.8 years ago
i had an u/s exam at 6 weeks and 3 days, the heartbeat was 98 bpm. do you think it is a bit slow?
tracey curtis.8 years ago
i heard my baby,s heartbeat at 11 wks but today at 13 wks the doctor couldnt hear it but she said this was fine as she could hear the blood flow going through the placenta i am worried but have experienced no abdo pains or bleeding any one else had this worry
Dionna.8 years ago
im three months pregnant and i feel a heartbeat in my stomach is it mine or my baby's
Bridgette.8 years ago
i am in my 28th week of pregnancy and my baby is kicking all the time. during the night he/she kicks so hard as if the baby is turning. is this normal. please advise as this worries me alot
jassi.8 years ago
i m 5 months pregnant,i have acidity problems so i am confused that the movements are due to acidity or these are the baby's movements?please help.
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