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Low baseline heart rate

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am wondering if anyone has any knowledge or resources regarding the possible risk factors of a low baseline fetal heart rate in late pregnancy. I am 40 weeks 3 days and the baby's heart rate has been normal until now. Today it was down to a baseline of around 100. My midwife sent me for an NST and u/s. the heart rate stayed low for a while but had good variability, accelerations etc. after 40 minutes of so it went up to at least the teens and has been at that or higher since. U/s was fine, baby very active, plenty of fluid - everything else is normal basically, just one period of low rates.

The OB wanted to induce me, surprise surprise. My midwife is concerned about monitoring the heart rate at home if the baseline is so low. Both said they have rarely seen this before, certainly not without other signs there may be a problem.

I am now staying in hospital overnight for monitoring, with the assumption I will probably be induced in the morning,

I would feel at peace with this if I really felt there was an increased risk, but even the OB admitted she just doesn't't know what is up. I really don't want to be in hospital, but even my (very experienced) HB midwife seems uncertain. I hate the thought of being induced, the EFM etc. let alone risk of further intervention, and for what feels like nothing. The heart rate isn't even low anymore!

Does anyone have any experience of this, or suggestions?
post #2 of 5

I don't have any info or resources to offer but thought I'd post to bump this up for attention. I hope you find some helpful and supportive answers. Wishing you a wonderful birth and healthy babe! 

post #3 of 5

I have nothing but my story, which is not a lot of evidence!  My family has a history of really low resting heart rates and my kids have been no different.  My ds1 was born prematurely and they actually had to reset his monitor in the NICU so it wouldn't keep triggering; his heart rate just stayed right around 100 all the time.  He had a pretty low HR in the womb as well (my other two weren't as slow, but they still hung out closer to 110 than 150).

post #4 of 5

I completely understand what you mean about not wanting to do interventions unless there's a real reason for it.  When I had my first, I had a positive urine protein and elevated blood pressure at 39 weeks and a couple of days.  We decided to induce because the doctors convinced me that pre-e never turns around and was likely to get much harder to treat as time went on.  And then there was no protein in my urine or high bp for my 30-some hour labor.  I was kinda bummed that it seemed like we had acted on a fluke.  Then when I went to have my second, I had seriously high blood pressure and high protein.  And somehow that made me feel better about the first time, like maybe there had been a real issue after all.  I wouldn't feel bad about doing an intervention  --  as long as there was a reason to do it.  And I was happy to find out, even five years later, that there may really have been a good reason (though maybe a bit premature, too).


Anyway, I know nothing about low heart rate in babies, but I'm kind of happy to hear that you're being monitored.  And it sure would be nice if you went into labor any minute on your own!  If I was in your position I think I'd be open to getting that baby out if neither OB nor midwife was familiar with this.  I am natural child birth friendly, and would have much rather gone that way myself, but rather risk adverse, too.  


eta:  I just looked at the date of your post!  I'm sure you've had your LO by now.

post #5 of 5

Do you know if your baby is awake or asleep during the times they take the heart rate? Just like adults, a baby's heart rate will go down during periods of deep sleep and will be higher when the baby is active or awake.

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