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Fetal and Maternal Heart Rates

Did you know that your baby’s hear rate during pregnancy is in the range of 110-160 beats per minute? Your baby’s heart is working extra hard while it is growing and developing. The mother’s heart rate also increases during pregnancy as the amount of blood it pumps increases by 30-50% during gestation and can average at 70-90 beats per minute.

Studies have shown that the average heart rate rises steadily through pregnancy. At 10 weeks GA, the average heart rate is ~79 BPM. By 40 weeks GA, the average rate was ~89 BPM.

In today’s video you can see a 2D video of the so-called 4 chamber view (4CV) of the fetal heart at about 14 weeks. Ultrasound is an important tool for the screening of Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) which is the most common type of anomalies that could occur during pregnancy. According to the NHS website: “Congenital heart disease is one of the most common types of birth defect, affecting up to 8 in every 1,000 babies born in the UK.”

At City Ultrasound our approach is to monitor the fetal heart function and development at every scan we do. Echocardiography is the examination of the fetal heart using ultrasound and is included with every scan where possible.

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