What is a normal fetal heart rate?
|Age||Normal Fetal Heart Rate|
|5 Weeks (Beginning)||80-85 bpm|
|5 Weeks||starts at 80 and ends at 103 bpm|
|6 Weeks||starts at 103 and ends at 126 bpm|
|7 Weeks||starts at 126 and ends at 149 bpm|
|8 Weeks||starts at 149 and ends at 172 bpm|
|9 Weeks||155-195 bpm (average 175 bpm)|
|12 Weeks||120-180 bpm (average 150 bpm)|
Typically the heart beat can not be heard with even a doppler until the 9-10th week of pregnancy at the very earliest (sometimes not until the 12-14th weeks of pregnancy). A baby's heart beat is very rapid, much faster than an adult. In fact it starts out near 180 beats per minute (BPM) and around 12 weeks gestation settles into the normal range of 120-160 BPM for the remainder of the pregnancy.
Even though you can not hear the fetal heartbeat until week 9 or 10, ultrasound is able to see a beating heart much sooner. An ultrasound can pick up the heartbeat as a "flicker" in the chest as early as four weeks after conception (6 weeks pregnant from last menstrual period).
By the beginning of the 9th week of pregnancy, the normal fetal heart rate is an average of 175 BPM. At this point it begins a rapid deceleration to the normal fetal heart rate for the middle of the pregnancy of about 120-180 BPM. There is also a slowing of the normal fetal heart rate in the last ten weeks of pregnancy, though the normal fetal heart rate is still about twice the normal adult's resting heart rate.
Your baby's normal fetal heart rate will also vary naturally, just as your heart rate does. Movement, sleeping and other activities can cause a normal variation.