If you are pregnant, no doubt, you must be thrilled. You may have also started imagining about the ‘pregnancy bump’. But in the first trimester of your pregnancy, you won’t have a big belly. You will experience morning sickness, headaches, and cramps. You may also feel exhausted. And yes, you will experience everything that a woman does during pregnancy, but hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time will make the experience real, especially when you haven’t begun to show yet.
It will be difficult for you to contain your excitement if and when you feel a pulsing sensation in your womb. And you might mistake it for your baby’s heartbeat. But is that really your baby’s heartbeat or something else? Find out!
Is it Possible to Feel Your Baby’s Heartbeat in Your Stomach?
If you feel a pulsing sensation in your stomach during pregnancy, it could be your blood vessels. If you feel a pulsing vibe, it will most likely be the pulse of your abdominal aorta, the large artery which carries oxygen-rich blood from your heart to the lower part of your body. This aorta pulse will be more prominent in the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy. There will also be an increase in blood volume during pregnancy and your blood vessels will be more relaxed. These changes could lead to a forceful pulse, hence you might notice it. However, it should not be mistaken for the baby’s heartbeat. You won’t be able to feel your baby’s heartbeat up until three weeks of your pregnancy, and perhaps for several weeks to come, unless an external device is used to feel it.
Reasons Why You Cannot Feel Your Baby’s Heartbeat
As mentioned above, if you feel the pulsing sensation, it will be the pulsing of your abdominal aorta, which will be more prominent during pregnancy. You may not feel your baby’s heartbeat in the stomach during the early stages of your pregnancy because your baby is protected by his own body, then further shielded by amniotic fluid, the amniotic sac, your uterus, muscles, and the skin of your body.
During the first three weeks of your pregnancy, you will not feel his heartbeat in your womb because his heart will begin to develop roughly three weeks after conception. Also, the force of contraction in such a minuscule heart will virtually be indiscernible because of so much cushioning around it. Even at full-term gestation, when the tiny heart is beating at 110 to 150 beats per minute, it can be impossible for you to feel his heartbeat without an external device through all those muscles and fluid.
How Does a Doctor Check Baby’s Heartbeat?
During pregnancy, your doctor will conduct a transvaginal scan. A transvaginal ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to project as-is images of a pregnant woman’s internal organs. The sound waves help create the image of the foetus. Your doctor can also detect your baby’s heartbeat from the twelfth week of pregnancy by using a Doppler device, which helps detect the heartbeat of the foetus easily. However, you should avoid exposing the baby to ultrasound waves too often. The high-ultrasound waves from a Doppler device or any other ultrasound device may be harmful during pregnancy.
It is important that you monitor your baby’s heart rate during pregnancy to rule out any anomalies. It can help in detecting an anaemic baby, abruption of the placenta, and poor oxygen supply. Go for timely scans to monitor your baby’s heartbeat and to keep track of his growth. But don’t expose your baby to ultrasound waves too often. Keep track of other discernible signs like your baby’s hiccups and kicking, and let your doctor take care of monitoring the little one’s heartbeat.