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Fetal Heartbeat

What Does Irregular Fetal Heartbeat Mean?

heartbeat for babyDuring pregnancy, there must be a number of tests done to ensure the baby and mother are safe. Unfortunately, there are certain problems that may be encountered when monitoring does take place, such as an irregular fetal heartbeat.

Not many individuals are aware of what this could mean and what problems may arise from it. However, there are three main types of fetal arrhythmias that may be detected, and it’s important to know what they mean and what can be done to help a baby during pregnancy.

The Types of Irregular Heartbeats

The three main types of arrhythmia are as follows:

  • Bradyarrhythmia which is when the fetal heart rate is going slower than normal
  • Tachyarrhythmia which is when the fetal heart rate is going faster than normal
  • Ectopic rhythm which is when the heart rate sounds as though it is skipping beats or there are extra beats

Typically, fetal heart rate for a fetus is supposed to sit anywhere between 120 and 160 beats per minute. While it is rare, it is something that does occur. Many times, it is something simple that can cause the arrhythmia such as caffeine intake.

Other Causes of Irregular Fetal Heartbeat

While many of the cases of fetal arrhythmia can be attributed to the actions of the mother, there are some times where the problems may be the result of issues such as structural problems within the baby’s heart.

Some other situations in which irregular fetal heartbeat can occur is when the baby is positioned in a certain way, when the mother is considered obese, when there is too much amniotic fluid, or if the baby is potentially distressed.

While there are many natural causes of irregular heartbeat—and many of them may not be life-threatening—it’s still important for your doctor to monitor the situation and determine if something needs to be done to alleviate the baby.

At Brown & Barron, our Baltimore birth injury lawyers understand the importance of monitoring. If the doctor fails to identify a problem and your baby suffers significant harm as a result, know that you have rights. Our team is here to help protect them.

To speak with a lawyer, call our firm at (410) 698-1717 today.