January 26, 2009,
A.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN on January 24, 2009
When Can You Typically Hear the Baby's Heartbeat?
I'm about 4 1/2 weeks pregnant with my second baby. I have an appointment scheduled with the nurse midwife at a little past 8 weeks. I seem to remember having to wait until 12 weeks to hear the heartbeat with the first - is that right? Does anyone have experience hearing the heartbeat before that? I've read that some slimmer women can hear it sooner. Also, have any of you gotten to see the tiny babe on an ultrasound on your first visit? I've heard of that, but don't know when and if they do that for mommies.
So What Happened?™
Heart beat at 8 weeks! I just went into my first OB appt and they heard the heartbeat through Doppler at 8 weeks. It was great! Thanks for all the advice.
M.W. answers from St. Cloud on January 24, 2009
You will probably NOT be able to hear the heartbeat yet. It is between 9 and 10 weeks on a slimmer mom. She may not even try at 8 weeks because it will just worry you if she can't find it...
Midwifes are usually anti-invasive so I would NOT count on an ultrasound at this point either. My midwife didn't do one until 20 weeks.
With an earlier pregnancy we had an ultrasound at 10 weeks because we couldn't get the heartbeat and then the doc was concerned at the babies size so then we went to a bigger hospital and got an internal ultrasound done only to find out that our baby had died. I wouldn't want to have an ultrasound done early (for no reason) because they still don't know what if any the effects are on a fetus and some speculate that this can cause your body to abort......
B. answers from Minneapolis on January 24, 2009
We heard our baby's heartbeat at 9.5 weeks. We were told that it was early because I was slim. We had an ultrasound at 6 weeks, but all we could see was the sac. At ten weeks we had another and we could see the baby. Usually they don't do ultrasounds that soon, but we had lost a number of babies before that and they were trying to monitor us closely. Good Luck.
E.H. answers from Minneapolis on January 24, 2009
I believe 9-10 weeks is the earliest. I heard the heartbeat at 12 weeks for the first time with both of my pregnancies since I had my first appts at 8 wks and the second appts at 12 wks.
M.C. answers from Minneapolis on January 24, 2009
I went in at 4 and 9 weeks with my first and saw the flicker on the monitor. It was an internal u/s at 4 weeks but they didn't have the sound. At 9 weeks it was a belly u/s and I heard it. The same went for my second child.
K.K. answers from Des Moines on January 24, 2009
I heard my son's heartbeat at 10 wks with doppler...however, they had to sort of "manually" raise my uterus up and then they found it. My first ultrasound followed at 14 weeks where we saw babe and heartbeat!
I heard my daughter's heartbeat at 11.5 weeks, but not by doppler. They couldn't find it, so they sent me for an ultrasound(my first) and I was able to see babe and hear heartbeat.
With this one, I went in at 8 weeks, and they automatically do first ultasounds now (where I go). I got to hear the heartbeat through that, and see the "babe" which didn't look like much. Sort of like a peanut or something. But I did see the flicker of the heart and got to see if beating!
Point being, you most likely will have to wait till about 12 weeks to hear it with a doppler. If you have an ultrasound though, you should be able to see and maybe hear it that way. I don't know what most other doctors do now-a-days, but mine now do at least 2 ultrasounds. One early one, and another around 20 weeks. GOOD LUCK!!!
PS. The Ultrasound done that early at 8 weeks was an "internal ultrasound". Just so you know...
C.K. answers from Minneapolis on January 25, 2009
My nurse midwife said you typically can not hear the heartbeat until 10-12 weeks. My first appointment with her was at 8 weeks, and we didn't even try to hear it then. We tried at 12 weeks and heard it just fine.
I had an "emergency" ultrasound at the hospital at 7 weeks because I thought I miscarried. We could see the heartbeat then, which was cool!
My nurse midwife was pretty "hands-off", so she only requested ultrasounds when medically necessary. We had the option of a 20 week ultrasound to check on the baby's size and organs and so on, but we opted out of that.
C.D. answers from Sioux City on January 26, 2009
I went in at 10 weeks and I am slim and didn't hear it. The doctor said it is typlically ("meaning" most usually,) after 11 or 12 weeks. The doctors say that if your baby is laying really low that also can make it hard to hear the heart beat. My daugther is 8 weeks and when I was pregnant with her you couldn't even tell till I was about 5/6 months, eve though I was small. Most people were shocked to find out, because I was small and carried small.
But, the truth is, I don't use pregnancy as an excuse to over eat. You are only supposed to gain about 25lbs approx. for the whole pregnancy.
ANyways, There was a time at 6 months they had a hard time finding her heartbeat due to the way she was sitting inside me. My daughter was born 8lbs 3 oz, so she wasn't a tiny baby - and she is breast fed and was already 10-lbs at 2 weeks old, so she is a healhty baby. So, it was never due to her being unhealthy or small, just how she'd sit inside me at times.
Good luck - you will probably have to wait till your next appt, but by then you should be able to hear the little heart beat inside you. COngratulations :)