Posted by: Althea | 2006/07/27

inconsistant heartbeat

Hi doc,

This question is about my unborn baby's heart beat. I'm 32w and my baby's heart is inconsistant. Can you perhaps tell me why and what can I do or eat to make it consistant.
My baby's heart beat ranges from 120 to 140 the most, sometimes below 120....Gynae does a heart track on every visit and says I might not be able to give virginal birth dlue to baby's inconsistant heartbeat

Pls advise.
Thank you

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Our expert says:
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Dear Althea,

Irregularity of fetal heartbeat is an important monitoring sign for the obstetrician. The heart rate may slow down drastically if the baby is deprived of adequate oxygen for any reason whatsoever. During normal labour, the contractions of the uterus can squeeze the umbilical cord ( containing the blood supply to the baby) and thus cut off the blood supplying oxygen to your baby. If the baby’s heat rate does “dip” during labour, then a ceasarian section is usually advised to protect the baby.

There is nothing you can do or eat to make it consistent. But, there is something you can do to stop it from getting worse : - I hope you are not a smoker – if you are, then stop immediately, because smoking affects the fetal hart rate and impairs fetal oxygen delivery, apart from the many other awfully effects on the baby. Also infants of mothers who smoke have significantly more ill-health, short stature, hyperactivity, poor school performance etc than infants of non-smokers. so, if you area serious about being a parent, you will ensure that neither you nor your partner smokes.

Good luck, I hoipe you have a beautiful and healthy baby.


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