Placenta heart rate = baby's heart rate? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 09:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So my LO has been moving a lot less. dont get me wrong, I still feel here and we make the min kick count but its a lot less than normal. It had been a while since I felt her move so I got my trusty doppler out.

I didnt have a lot of time this morning before work to spend on the doppler and with the time I did have I wasnt able to pick up the fetal heart rate but I did get the placenta's heart rate. I know there is a difference in sound, hence knowing I got the placenta and not the baby, but is it safe to say that if the placenta has a heart rate then the baby should be ok? its not possible for one to have a heart rate and not the other right? I know its a dumb question but I just though i would ask for piece of mind. I swear I also felt a kick once the doppler was on my belly too, she hates that thing but now I second guess myself into thinking I didnt feel anything. Ive been trying to get her to move again and she just wont do it. Hopefully she will wake up a little later in the morning. And thank goodness I have an appointment today to get even more peace of mind.


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#2 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 10:26 AM
 
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No idea, but I would recommend getting a tall glass of juice and putting your feet up for a few minutes and see what happens.

Good luck. I totally understand the worry.
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#3 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you. Im at work right now so I dont have the luxury of really doing anything but drinking water and prodding my tummy. I have felt her move though thank goodness.


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#4 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 11:24 AM
 
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Wyatt became far less active the week or so before he was born. It was worrisome but I would drink very cold water and then just sort of breathe deeply to help me relieve my anxiety. It is nervewracking!

I don't know the answer to your specific question, though.


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#5 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 12:04 PM
 
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In the practice I worked at, we didn't rely on the placenta heartbeat as a sign of fetal well-being; we needed to hear that tell-tale thumpity-thump. But, unless you were hearing your own heartbeat, then you can tell an approximate baby heart rate based on placental sounds. Hope this helps!
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#6 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 12:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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my fear is that one day I wont hear anything. one of those irrational prego fears. So in my mind Im thinking if I at least get the placenta on the doppler that means babys heart is beating too right? one wouldnt beat without the other right? I guess that is my question.


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#7 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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My last baby really slowed down movement and got very still in the week leading up to birth too...felt like he was sort of hibernating and storing up energy for the big push.

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#8 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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There are a few sounds you can hear using a doppler. Apart from the direct foetal heart of course there is the placental/uterine souffle and the funicular souffle.

The placental/uterine souffle will be a swishing sound at the same rate as the woman's heartbeat. It is caused by the movment of blood through the uterine and placental arteries.

The funicular souffle is probably blood flowing through the umbilical cord and will be the same as the foetal hearbeat. If you heard a swishing which was within the normal range for a foetal heartbeat then, I'm guessing, that this is what you heard.

When I was a student midwife it was considered poor practice not to locate a direct foetal heart but TBH I can't think of a circumstance in which the umbilical cord would have a pulse and the baby wouldn't. So I would say everything is fine

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#9 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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The new MW who was on when I went into labor last time mistook my heart beat on doppler (I'm assuming from the placenta, but maybe katelove knows if you can p/up mom's heartbeat from an abdominal artery or something on doppler?) for the baby's when my son had already passed. I'm not trying to be the doom and gloom on this thread, just to say that it is possible to hear a heartbeat that is not the baby or indicative of whether the baby is okay. With my doppler, now, I listen for the baby (HR usually 120s-140s) and then, if I'm concerned at all, I check my own pulse rate to be absolutely sure it is the baby.

OPM, getting through a pregnancy after a loss is so hard. I hope your appointment went well .
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#10 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 10:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mischievium View Post
The new MW who was on when I went into labor last time mistook my heart beat on doppler (I'm assuming from the placenta, but maybe katelove knows if you can p/up mom's heartbeat from an abdominal artery or something on doppler?) for the baby's when my son had already passed. I'm not trying to be the doom and gloom on this thread, just to say that it is possible to hear a heartbeat that is not the baby or indicative of whether the baby is okay. With my doppler, now, I listen for the baby (HR usually 120s-140s) and then, if I'm concerned at all, I check my own pulse rate to be absolutely sure it is the baby.

OPM, getting through a pregnancy after a loss is so hard. I hope your appointment went well .
Wow, I'm so sorry you had that experience. I imagine that must have made an already horrendous situation much worse

It is definitely possible to pick up an abdominal artery with a doppler or even one of the uterine arteries. The doppler is not selective, it will pick up whatever it gets the strongest signal from. If there is any doubt at all it is really important to feel the mother's pulse manually *while* listening to the doppler - exactly what you're doing. The chance of mum and baby's heartrate being exactly the same is almost zero so doing both at once should clearly demonstrate which pulse you're hearing. The same when having a CTG, the mother's pulse should always be taken and documented at the start of the strip.

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#11 of 13 Old 04-26-2010, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your replies. I have been ableto fin my own heart rate as well and I know the difference in mine and in the babys/placenta based on sound and speed.

My appointment went well and my OB actually picked up on the placentas pulse as well, though I didn't say anything. I think as long as you hear one it's ok.


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#12 of 13 Old 04-27-2010, 01:18 AM
 
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It's not actually the 'placenta' you are picking up on, but the cord. The actual fetal heart beat sounds very clear and 'thumpy'. When you hear it through the cord it will be a bit 'swishier'. Indeed, the babies heart must be beating in order to get a cord reading- although the cord is not always an accurate measure of the exact hr, so in my midwifery practice I never settle for just hearing the cord. But if all you want is reassurance that baby is 'alive'- hearing the cord should be just fine.
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#13 of 13 Old 04-27-2010, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Zangua View Post
It's not actually the 'placenta' you are picking up on, but the cord. The actual fetal heart beat sounds very clear and 'thumpy'. When you hear it through the cord it will be a bit 'swishier'. Indeed, the babies heart must be beating in order to get a cord reading- although the cord is not always an accurate measure of the exact hr, so in my midwifery practice I never settle for just hearing the cord. But if all you want is reassurance that baby is 'alive'- hearing the cord should be just fine.
Yes that's what I mean, although probably not the right verbage, I consider the cord part of the placenta. And yes I want assurance baby is alive. No matter how many successful pregnancies you have, after a loss you are never the same.


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