One of the first things you look forward to as an expectant mom, is hearing the heartbeat!
But when can you first hear that heartbeat?
Well even when you get that first positive pregnancy test, the heart might not even be developed yet!
A study at Oxford though, has found that a baby’s heart first beats as early as 16 days after conception, so that is just over 4 weeks of gestation. But since your baby is still so small, the heart can’t even be heard via ultrasound at this point.
7-8 weeks is a great time to hear that heartbeat for the first time though.
At this gestation though, the heartbeat cannot be heard via a doppler. Why is this though? Why can it be heard with an ultrasound, but not with a doppler?
This is because an ultrasound is a stronger instrument than a doppler (one of the reasons why multiple ultrasounds in a pregnancy actually isn’t recommended unless medically necessary).
Not only that, your baby is so small, your uterus is actually still hidden behind your pubic bone! It isn’t until around 12 weeks that your uterus comes up from behind your pubic bone, which then makes it possible to hear that heartbeat with a doppler.
But there are circumstances that can make it harder to hear even at 12 weeks.
One of those could be a tilted uterus. This means that your uterus is tilted toward your spine, instead of forward toward your abdomen. Usually between 12-13 weeks it moves forward, but sometimes it can take longer making it difficult to find the heartbeat with a doppler.
When to be concerned
Now it sure can be hard to wait until that 12 week mark, since a lot of doctors don’t do early ultrasounds if there isn’t a question of due dates. But typically you don’t need to worry about waiting unless there are certain signs present:
- Abdominal pain
While some spotting and cramping can be common, if you have any concerns, be sure to call your doctor.
And if you don’t, sit tight and just be excited for that first appointment when you can hear the heartbeat. It is truly a magical experience!
If you aren’t sure which type of care provider to choose though, be sure to check out this post!
Get your FREE hospital bag packing list!
Subscribe to get your free packing list and always stay up to date with new posts!