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What happens if they cant hear.a heartbeat at the 16wk appointment?

(21 Posts)
ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 11-May-14 11:25:55

Having previously had a MMC at eleven weeks,I was especially anxious to see a heartbeat this time at the 12 week scan.

All seemed well and I thought "ok I am safe now". Its my 16wk appointment tomorrow and the MW has told me she will listen to the heartbeat. Im panicking now what if she can't find one, and wondered if anyone knew what happens in that case?

Surely I wont be left til the 20 week scan to check?

noblegiraffe Sun 11-May-14 11:28:36

The guidelines say that they shouldn't listen to the hb at appointments any more precisely because of the worry it causes if it can't be found, and at 16 weeks that's a possibility even if there's nothing wrong. Hospitals won't usually scan either because it's so common, so you'd be left in limbo worrying.

Sparkle9 Sun 11-May-14 11:33:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 11-May-14 11:36:10

Oh no! My MW definetly said "we will listen to the HB, you might want to record it" sad

noblegiraffe Sun 11-May-14 11:40:22

Just say no thanks, you'd rather she didn't try? She should know the new rules.

22honey Sun 11-May-14 11:55:31

I had mine checked at 16 weeks (Im 26 now and listened to it again the other day) didnt know they wernt supposed to do it?

For what its worth I was terrified they wernt going to find it aswell but they did. I am still terrified now but my worries are no longer miscarriage but a stillbirth, in utero death, premature labour. It is horrible (I have anxiety and depression) and not sure I'll be doing all this again for a long time.

Im sure you'll be fine! xxx

wightjellybaby Sun 11-May-14 12:07:00

They had a listen at each of mw appointments dd is now 18mth

She couldn't find heart beat at around 16weeks another mw tried and couldn't find it (mw appointments not done in hospital) they rang the hospital and told them I was coming. When we got there they were lovely as I completely shit scared obviously I jumped the big que of waiting people they did a dopler scan (it shows red and blue on the screen showing the hearts working) it was we were lucky. It was a quick scan so I know its hard but try not to worry

littleducks Sun 11-May-14 12:07:40

I would ask her before she does it what the procedure is if she cant find it.

I had mine checked with first two babies (under the older guidelines) and heard them fine, it was lovely. I was warned they might not find it but it seemed easy enough.

My last baby was under the new guidelines, so it wasn't checked for by my regular MW. It was a little bit disappointing at the time but being rational it was much more sensible as if they didn't find it I could have been worrying for weeks, which wouldn't have done anybody any good.

However, I was in hospital (i get HG) and they checked the hb early, but their rational was that they had a portable scanner down the corridor so if they didnt find it with the doppler and they could check with the scanner within a few minutes or so.

So see what the MW says, if she can check another way afterwards then go for it, if not decide if it would make you more anxious.

RAFWife12 Sun 11-May-14 12:11:07

I was told at my booking appointment they would listen to heartbeat at 16 weeks. Then when I got to my 16 week appointment they didn't - due to the stress it causes when they can't find it. I was really disappointed and worried about it. Everything is fine though! I bought my own foetal monitor as we wanted DH to hear the heartbeat before he went away, and we heard it at home at 19 weeks - was really easy to find then. It would have majorly stressed me out if we hadn't found it though!
Baby is still small at 16 weeks and apparently they can struggle to find a heartbeat then. As baby gets bigger it gets easier to find.

hubbahubster Sun 11-May-14 12:23:00

My midwife has listened to heartbeat at every appointment for this pg and the last one - I know some areas don't any more but I've always been pleased to hear it (I've had a MMC too).

I agree with the prev poster who said to ask what she'll do if she can't find it. Mine always has so I don't have any experience to share, except try not to stress ahead of time as it won't make any difference and will only make you feel crap. Chances are it'll be fine - and then you can start worrying about the 20 week scan...;)

Ducky23 Sun 11-May-14 14:36:31

My mw listened to HB every appt from quite early on. When she couldn't find it she sent me straight to hospital and a midwife was waiting for me who took me straight in for a scan.

Unfortunately we lost dd at 31 +2 but this is not always the case when they can't find a HB, it can be just that baby is in a different position to what they imagined.

If thy can't find a HB they should send you straight for a scan x

ThinkIveBeenHacked Sun 11-May-14 15:41:14

Oh Ducky thanks that must have been a very very difficult time for you, I am so sorry to hear of your loss xxxx

ruthsmumkath Sun 11-May-14 15:45:01

My only experience in the uk was dd1 10 years ago - the midwife couldn't find a heartbeat at 16 weeks. I was sent straight to the local hospital for a scan and was told to take someone with me for support. I had no one who could go as dh worked away. Went alone. Baby fine - but I did have an anterior placenta - so maybe that was affecting what she could hear.

squirrel007 Sun 11-May-14 15:51:25

With DC2 the MW couldn't hear the heartbeat at a 15 week appointment. She warned me that she might not be able to, but I was confident I'd felt the baby moving regularly so I wasn't worried. She got me back in a week later, and then she heard it fine smile

bakingtins Sun 11-May-14 15:53:47

I was offered the option at 16 weeks, but told it's sometimes hard to find, so it's no longer routine to check, and if they can't find it they won't do anything. I said have a go and she found it v quickly. It's been checked at every appt since without discussion. By the next MW appt at 24 weeks they'll be asking about movements anyway.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Sun 11-May-14 15:55:07

If they check and can't find it, they should send you for a scan. But it is not considered best practice now exactly because it is really common not to find it, so try not to worry if you do need to be referred (easier said than done I know).

Mummytobeforthefirsttime Sun 11-May-14 16:09:45


My midwife checked for the heartbeat at 16 weeks, before she checked she told me not to worry as sometimes they don't find it that early. If she could not find it she said she would not refer me for a scan as it was a 50/50 chance of finding it. That said she put the Doppler on and found the heartbeat straight away.

I've had 5 consecutive miscarriages so I do understand your anxiety. I'm am sure everything will ok.

squizita Sun 11-May-14 16:13:29

Mine said "listen" but it wasn't an audio Doppler or ear piece, it was an attachment of a scan machine. If you're going to a hospital, mention your anxiety (I did) as if this kit is in the room they may use it, its very sensitive.

SouthDerbyshireMamma Sun 11-May-14 16:24:08

Ive listened to the heaetbeat at every midwife appointment from 15 weeks. I wouldn't worry if they can't find it though. Its not always easy to locate that early

splendide Sun 11-May-14 16:35:17

I had my 16 week appointment about a week ago and we listened to the heartbeat so it must depend on the area. It took ages to find it though, was quite stressful!

Gen35 Sun 11-May-14 16:43:32

My mw listened at 16 wks, it took her ages to find it, baby was quite low. I can actually feel the baby moving so even though I was pretty sure things were ok it still worried me. She also said, they often can't find it and are considering just not listening anymore. Hard one - I'd still want them to try, but they so often can't find one at the 16 wks it has no diagnostic value. Good luck op

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