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What are they listening for when they listen for the heartbeat (early in pregnancy)?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Just curious!  I am declining doppler and u/s, but guessing my MWs will be able to hear my babe's HB at the next appointment (almost 22 weeks).  It feels like a mostly-moot point to me now that I am feeling plenty of daily movement.

 

I was just discussing this in a DDC-- what is the medical indication or other reason for listening to a heartbeat earlier in pregnancy? 

 

I know during or close to labor, the actual measured heart rate and any variation can be valuable information that can change the course of action.  But earlier on, what are they listening for, besides...

 

A) Whether or not it's there?

 

and maybe

 

B) If there is more than one heartbeat?

 

Just curious!  I am more than happy to allow a listen at any time with a fetoscope (or with a doppler/u/s if there was specific reason for concern), but just wondering what information, if any, it gives-- besides A+B, above.  If there's nothing other than A+B, it occurs to me that it's just for fun and bonus reassurance (though still great to hear!) if the babe is already moving regularly and purposefully.  After all, if the babe is moving, there's a heartbeat, no?

 

Thanks! 

post #2 of 7

The u/s I've had measured and looked at their organs and of course sex.  ;) 

With ODD the u/s were for her heart as she had an irregular heartbeat, so I saw a specialist for that. 

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Right.  smile.gif

 

I'm really just asking about when they listen for the heartbeat-- like with a doppler or fetoscope.

post #4 of 7
It can also assist with determining position when done with a fetoscope. Most relevant toward the end of pregnancy of course.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by womenswisdom View Post

It can also assist with determining position when done with a fetoscope. Most relevant toward the end of pregnancy of course.

Makes sense!

post #6 of 7

I imagine the baby's heart is listened to for the same reasons Doctors like to listen to ours at routine appointments. To detect abnormalities and irregularities in the heart rhythm? 

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Interesting...  I had never heard that.  Of course, I'll ask my MWs, too!  It's just that I won't see them for another 3 weeks, so I figured I'd ask here...

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