The fetal heart rate an important factor that would help that doctor asses the condition of the baby while he is still in his mother's womb. The normal can range from 110 beats per minute to 180 beats per minute. However, the baby's heart rate can vary depending on his activity. If he seems to extra hyperactive, it could even go up to 190 beats per minute. That is still considered normal. If he is resting, it could go down to 110 or 120 beats per minute.
Listening to the fetal heart rate of the baby can be a wonderful bonding activity between mother and child. With the use of a Doppler ultrasound, the baby's heartbeat could be heard as early as 8 weeks. However, there are also babies whose heartbeats cannot be detected until three to four months. This is fairly normal and should not be a cause for worry. There are mothers that might have more abdominal fat content than others, and that could suppress the sound of the baby's heartbeat.
The baby's fetal heart rate could be affected by a lot of factors. Most of these factors are directly related to the mother. The mother's physical and mental health greatly affects how the baby turns out. Stress is a huge factor. Studies have shown that stress could have untoward effects on the baby's overall health and not just his heart rate. Another factor would be the mother's cardiac health. A mother with high blood pressure could also seriously affect the baby's growth in the womb. A high blood pressure, also called preeclampsia, can decrease the nutrients that the baby receives, resulting in various health problems. It could even be life threatening for both the baby and the mother.
Every mother should engage in a healthy heart diet, for not only is it beneficial for her but for the baby as well. It is a common misconception that a pregnant mother should be eating for two. This not only wrong, but can also be potentially dangerous for the baby. A healthy heart diet should be low in salt and fat. Both salt and fat are the culprits of every cardiovascular condition out there, and they should be avoided completely if possible. Acceptable food would be fruits, vegetables, lean meats, chicken and fish.
Engaging in a healthy diet, while pregnant, would also help the mother attain the recommended weight gain required during pregnancy. The ideal numbers would be two to four pounds a week during the first trimester, and a pound a week for the next six months. Overall, the mother-to-be is expected to gain around 25 to 35 pounds in nine months.
Unlike before, monitoring the fetal heart rate can now be done at home. There are Doppler ultrasound devices that are readily available to the public. The process can be easily done with the use of the probe and some water-soluble lubricant. The best places to start looking would be at the bottom right or left of the abdomen. It would greatly help if the mother knows how to look for the baby's back. That is where the heartbeat is the loudest.
If you are pregnant and you want to learn more about fetal heartbeat, there are great online websites available for reference.