Quick question for you OB nurses...

  1. My SIL is pregnant with her first child. Not very far along. Just wondering about when the baby's heart rate can be heard? I don't remember from my nursing school days and OB is definitely not my type of nursing! Thanks.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   RNonsense
    Not an OB nurse...but I think I remember hearing it at 12 weeks with a doppler...
  4. by   mother/babyRN
    Depending upon the size of the pt, often, if you are vigilant and place the doppler just at the pubic bone area, you can hear it..The ER will often call us for very early gestations like 9 weeks, and as long as the directions mentioned above are followed and the pt is not too heavy, there are times you can hear it, however, as stated above, the best case scenario is 12 weeks and above, although sometimes you won't hear it until week 14..The larger the pt, often, the longer it takes...In cases when people or the emergency room insist we go down and listen before 14 weeks, we will simply inform the pt that it would not be unusual at that early gestation if we didn't hear it, because otherwise they would be convinced something was wrong.
    This is especially true if you have to take a long time to find it...
    Sometimes you will hear the swish of the placenta (which will parallel your own hr), before the actual fh....
    Usually, I can get a few seconds at 9-11 weeks, but not always....We don't routinely listen to antepartum fh rates (on those people with hyperemesis, etc), if they are under 18-20 weeks...We all try under the above conditions if the patient is going to be there awhile and just wants to attempt to hear the baby. Hope this helps....
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I have picked FHTs w/doptone as early as 8 weeks. Usually, it's more like 10-12 before I can do so w/any consistency. In "fluffy" patients, it's more like 14. More luck than skill in some patients. The smaller the patient, the easier it is for me.
  6. by   Hardknox
    My dauaghter had a vaginal ultrasound in the doc's office at 6 weeks and the HR was 120. The earliest I've heard it by doptone was 10 to 12 weeks.
  7. by   indynurse
    The earliest I have heard them was 10 weeks. To be honest, I never tried to find them before 10 weeks. The only reason I tried on the 10 weeker was because she was highly anxious about the baby because another nurse tried and didn't find them and the pt begged me to try again.
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    "fluffy" patients! I love that.

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