Q&A: I'm 13 weeks pregnant and my last prenatel appointment the doctor couldn't find the heartbeat.
I'm 13 weeks pregnant and my last prenatel appointment the doctor couldn't find the heartbeat. I have already had an ultrasound confirming the pregnancy. I'm overweight. Could that have affected why the heartbeat wasn't detected? Should I be worried?
Hmmm. Having a normal ultrasound that demonstrated a fetal heartbeat is a really reassuring sign. In general, once the heartbeat is seen on ultrasound, the risk of miscarriage is quite low. That said, most of the time a heartbeat will be audible by 13 weeks, unless you have quite a bit of extra padding between your skin and the baby. Typically, if the doctor is expecting to hear a heartbeat and doesn’t, the next step is ultrasound. The fact that your doctor didn’t do an ultrasound to confirm a heartbeat makes me think that it seemed normal not to hear it.
This is really a good question to ask your doctor, since he or she will know whether this was expected in your situation, or not. No use worrying until the next appointment. Give the office a call and ask if you need an ultrasound or if this seemed normal to your doctor at the time. And for future appointments, don’t be shy to ask your doctor if you are worried about something. Sometimes as medical professionals, we don’t realize how something sounds to the patient, and we cause unnecessary anxiety. So don’t be afraid to express yourself if you don’t understand something during your appointment. You deserve to be well informed about your body and your baby!