Congenital Heart Defects

Senior adult doctor with his patients.

Fetal heart rates will be anywhere between 120 and 160 beats per minute, but it can be as low as 90 beats per minute without being alarming.

Detection and Diagnosis

The discovery of a congenital heart defect in your baby will be a cause for some necessary changes in the management of your pregnancy and the delivery of your baby. Because of this, it's very important that the defect is found early on so plans can be made accordingly.

When you go in for your ultrasound, there are two things that the doctor can do to detect any heart defects. The first way to detect heart defects is through measuring your baby's heart rate. Typically, fetal heart rates will be anywhere between 120 and 160 beats per minute, but it can be as low as 90 beats per minute without being alarming. Anything outside of the 90 to 160-beat range is cause for concern.

Another way of detecting heart defects is through a fetal echocardiogram. An experienced sonologist will perform the fetal echocardiogram, checking the “blood flow through the heart, great vessels, and umbilical vessels.”

{ MORE: Fetal Echocardiogram: Why We Decided to Get One Done }

Treatment Options

Because there are 17 different types of heart defects that the American Heart Association has categorized, treatment options are going to depend on which of the 17 problems your baby is having. While some of the heart defects don't need any more treatment than regular checkups from the doctor, others are more severe and may require surgery or cardiac catheterization. 

Your doctor will be the best help when diagnosing and treating a congenital heart defect. Once you've received a diagnosis for your baby's heart defect, start immediately with a plan of action. With the help of a medical professional, you and your baby will get the help that you need.

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Congenital Heart Defects

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