Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
14 wks pregnant and having irregular fetal heart rate
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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14 wks pregnant and having irregular fetal heart rate

Hi am 35 yrs old and 14 wks pregnant.  when i went to the DR today he listened for a heart beat and still could not hear the babies heart rate so he ordered a ultra sound and the lady that performed the ultra sound stated that the babies heart rate was in rythem, but she said that the heart beat didn't sound right. i'm gonna try and best describe what I heard it sounded like this ,  chooka chooka chew------(pause) chooka chooka chew------(pause) it wasn't like a steady heart beat . She also said that the babie was very active and it was hard to keep up with the baby so that she could get the heart rate, but when she did the heart rate  sounded like that . what could this be ? should I be worried ?
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773637_tn?1327450515
Dear Angelkisses,

I LOVE your characterization of your baby’s heart rhythm, describing the sound of the Doppler waveform pattern.  What you describe tells me that your baby is most likely having some isolated early beats that are either premature atrial or premature ventricular contractions.  These are single early heart beats that originate either in the upper or the lower chambers.  We see this in second trimester fetuses frequently. They typically go away during the third trimester or by delivery and do not cause a problem.  The time that we are most concerned about this is when there are sustained fast rhythms (arrhythmias), in which there is a number of these early beats one after another in a row.  If your baby is not demonstrating this, then this is most likely not a problem.  However, it would be a good idea to follow up with your OB to make sure that these do resolve and do not progress into a sustained arrhythmia.
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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