What Causes An Irregular Heartbeat In A Fetus?


Asked by Brittany

What Causes An Irregular Heartbeat In A Fetus?

What can cause an irregular heartbeat in a fetus? Why would an early C-section be necessary?


Irregular heartbeat in a fetus is relatively common and most resolve on their own. However, sometimes it can indicate a more serious problem. Usually when an irregular heartbeat is detected in a fetus, the doctor will do more tests to determine what is causing it. Some causes of irregular heartbeats in infants can include:

  • structural problems in the heart
  • genetic heart disease
  • infections, like chlamydia
  • use of drugs, alcohol or tobacco while in utero

When an irregular heartbeat has been detected it is also recommended that the mother avoid anything with caffeine in it, like coffee, tea, colas and chocolate.

If the baby continues to have an abnormal heart rate as the due date approaches, the doctor may feel that a vaginal delivery would be too hard on the baby and choose to do a c-section before the mother goes into labor.

Here are some links you might find helpful:

5 Things to Know About Your Heart Rate

Heart Palpitations and Anxiety Attacks: Should You Be Worried?

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Answered by Karen Lee Richards