Hearing Baby's Heartbeat

How many love songs talk about hearting a beating heart? We naturally connect the greatest feeling in the world with the greatest sound of life - love and the beating heart.

With Every Beat of Your Heart

The connection couldn't be stronger than that of a mother and babe in the womb. The love a woman feels for her unborn child is made even more real by the sound of the baby's heartbeat. Today an expectant mother can experience that incredible moment very early in her pregnancy. With the technology and devices that are now available, the sound of a baby's heartbeat can be heard using specialize equipment as early as five or six weeks into the pregnancy, making the baby anywhere from 21 to 28 days old. Conception usually happens about two weeks after the period begins.

The Miracle of Life

By the fifth week of pregnancy, which is the third week after conception, the phase called the embryonic period begins in the development of the baby. It is in this week that the baby's brain, spinal cord, heart and other organs begin to form. The embryo at this point consists of three layers. The ectoderm or the top layer is the beginning of the skin, central nervous system, eyes, inner ears and connective tissues. The middle layer, called the mesoderm is where the baby's primary circulatory system and heart form, as do the bones, muscles, kidneys and a lot of the reproductive system. The innermost layer, the endoderm, will be the source of the lungs, intestines and bladder.

In just one week's time, the neural tube that runs down the baby's back begins to close and the baby's heart is pumping blood - the baby is 28 days old now. It is four weeks after conception and six weeks into the pregnancy. Let that sink in for a moment. Four weeks after the sperm penetrates the egg the baby's heart is pumping blood.

Baby, Baby I Can Hear Your Heartbeat

Perhaps one of the most special times in pregnancy, especially for the first pregnancy, is the moment when a mother (and a dad) hears their baby's heartbeat. For some women, the experience of hearing their baby's heartbeat is the main reason they keep their prenatal appointments. Although the prenatal appointment is when the baby's heart is heard every month, there are several ways a mother can check in on her growing baby during pregnancy.

Table of Contents
1. Hearing Baby's Heartbeat
2. All about fetal monitors
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