Your baby’s heart begins to form approximately three weeks after conception. Starting from the fourth week, your baby’s heartbeat can be detected transvaginally. Starting from 12th week your doctor can detect a baby’s heart beating via a Doppler device, although many doctors wait longer to use a Doppler, as it’s quite difficult to find a heartbeat at such an early gestation.
It’s physically impossible to feel your baby’s heartbeat without the use of an outside device – your baby’s heart is a tiny organ buried inside its own body, then covered by layers of amniotic fluid, amniotic sac, uterus, muscle and skin. If you can feel a regular beat, it’s much more likely that:
- It’s your own heartbeat.
- It’s baby kicks or hiccups.
- If you have an anterior placenta, you may be able to feel the placental beat, in rare cases.
As a woman’s blood flow increases to cover her baby’s developmental needs, she can feel how her own blood pulsing in her lower abdomen. She can often feel the pulsations of her own aorta through her belly, as it is pushed closer to the surface of her belly with the changes in her body.1 | 2 | 3