In the ninth week of pregnancy, the baby’s average heartbeat can reach 140 to 170 bpm to utmost 180 bpm. Fetal heart rate can vary as it responds to the conditions of the uterus. Measuring the heart rate and rhythm of the baby inside the womb is necessary to see how the baby is doing. But contrary to some old wives’ tales, fetal heart rate will in no way predict the baby’s gender. It will, however, point out if the baby is under stress or is slowly progressing in growth.
Whether you are having a boy or girl is accurately determined by having an ultrasound.
The heartbeat, changes in mom’s habits, and the way she carries her bump do not say anything about the baby’s gender.
Table of Contents
What is fetal heart monitoring?
Fetal heart monitoring (FHM) is an essential antepartum process of assessing maternal and fetal well-being.
It is also done during labor and delivery to monitor the fetal response.
It’s essential for health professionals for them to provide early clinical intervention when needed.
The baby’s heartbeat
The baby’s heartbeat will continue to develop and change throughout the pregnancy.
It will often start at 90 to 110 beats per minute during the first weeks. But, ultrasounds may not be able to detect it yet.
You can only hear your baby’s heartbeat at around 5 ½ to 6 weeks of gestation.
As the baby matures, the heartbeat will increase and peaks at 140 to 170 bpm in week 9 to 10. Others may have it at 180 bpm, which is still within the normal range.
A 5 to 15 bpm beat-to-beat variation is allowed in a healthy fetus.
The baby’s gender through the fetal heartbeat
There are many myths and hearsays surrounding the pregnancy, especially when it comes to predicting the baby’s sex. Some use the baby’s position in the womb, the mom’s sleep position, or the size of the breast to guess the baby’s gender.
One of the many claims is related to the fetal heart rate. There is a belief that a heartbeat slower than 140 bpm means that moms are having a boy. When it is faster, it is likely a girl inside.
Some research did delve down its possible gender prediction accuracy.
But such studies did not yield any significant difference in their findings. Thus, it debunked the belief that fetal heartbeat is a gender predictor.
Anyway, most gender prediction myths were conceived just for fun. The only way to be sure is to have an ultrasound or wait until the little one comes out.
What does a fetal heartbeat tell?
The baby’s heartbeat varies greatly through the duration of the pregnancy.
Doctors are monitoring it during a prenatal checkup for any concerns about the baby’s development.
Women with high risks of pregnancy, such as those with diabetes and high blood pressure need close monitoring.
It can become concerning if the baby’s heart rate is too slow, too fast, or irregular.
There might be a chance that the baby has a heart problem beyond the average normal fetal heart rate.
When the fetus shows a rapid and irregular heartbeat, it is referred to as fetal tachyarrhythmia.
Baby heartbeat apps
Baby apps are handy tools for helping moms take care of their babies. But technology is not always reliable and should never be a source of verified information.
If you are an excited expecting mom, there is a rare chance you check on heartbeat apps to hear your baby’s beating.
However, be warned. These apps may be inaccurate and may only send you into a panic.
Fetal heart monitoring uses state-of-the-art equipment like a Doppler device done either internally or externally.
So before you give yourself an unnecessary concern, get advice only from a health care professional.
Don’t miss your prenatal check-ups and trust your doctor’s advice instead of inexact monitoring apps.
When is the best time for an ultrasound to determine the gender?
The baby’s sex organ is already defined at the 18th week of pregnancy. Therefore, this is the best time for a gender ultrasound scan.
Why can’t I hear my baby’s heartbeat by ear?
Because you simply can’t. It is almost impossible for the human ear to detect a fetal heartbeat. Only a sonogram can do that.
That is why if you are concerned about your baby’s heartbeat and heart rate, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor.
They have the equipment to properly assess the condition of your baby.
What if my unborn baby has an abnormal heart rate?
If the doctor has concerns over your baby’s heart development, they may ask for a fetal echocardiogram.
It is a test similar to ultrasound but it will give them a better view of the fetus’ heart structure.
This is usually done between 18 to 24 weeks, which is the second trimester of the pregnancy.
Many myths revolve around the prediction of the baby’s gender such as the information from the heart rate.
But babies’ heartbeat changes throughout the pregnancy and a normal fetus beat at the same average rate, be it a boy or girl.
Fetal heart monitoring can tell about the baby’s heart development in the womb. Doctors will look for signs of concern, especially if the heart rate is slow, fast, or irregular.
The most accurate way to predict the baby’s gender for that much-awaited gender reveal party is through an ultrasound.