baby heartbeat and Heart Conditions in Babies
baby heart be can be detected as early as 7 weeks in the womb. The heart is one of the most important body organs which are responsible for the wellbeing of an individual throughout his life. But that is not the case for some babies as they are born with or can develop heart conditions later after their birth. The term congenital heart disease is used to refer heart conditions which baby acquires before their birth.
Irregularities can be found on an ultra sound and a doppler in pregnancy. As the consultant looks at the baby heartbeat .The NHS department of the UK reports that 1 in every 133 babies are born with congenital heart conditions, and every year 5000 babies are reported with heart conditions at the time of their birth.
Symptoms to suggest issues with a baby heartbeat in the womb
Advancement in health sciences now enables doctors to detect the heart conditions of a fetus from the ultrasound during the 20th week of pregnancy as it also looks at the baby heart chambers and the baby heartbeat levels. Yet, some children show no symptoms in their mother’s womb but develop symptoms after their birth. Some of the common symptoms which can be detected in babies with heart conditions are:
- Sleep apnea
- Fast breathing rate
- Higher rates of the baby heartbeat
- Tiredness while feeding
- Palpitations and chest pain
- Frequent fainting
Cardiologists divide the causes of congenital heart diseases into two types. Babies can develop heart conditions either due to genetics or development issues. A mother which has a history of heart disease in her parents, highly susceptible to give birth to a baby with a heart condition. Similarly, mothers with inherited diabetes and high blood pressure are highly susceptible too.
The problems that arise after genetic mutations in babies also affect the heart of the baby. For example, babies with Down syndrome have heart conditions because down syndrome affects the baby’s growth and developing organs. Rubella infection in the mother, excessive smoking and drinking, failure in controlling diabetes during pregnancy, and excessive use of anti-coagulant and anti-epileptic drugs put babies in more danger by developing heart conditions.
Types of heart conditions in babies
For the understanding of readers, heart conditions are generally characterized in two categories, Cyanotic and Acyanotic. Cyanotic heart conditions are those in which blood fails to provide oxygen to different parts of the body. Due to reduced oxygen supply, the tissues start to change their color and bluish patches appear on skin, lips, feet and fingers, etc.
Acyanotic heart conditions are those in which the heart fails to pump blood across the body due to an abnormal heartbeat. In these conditions, the oxygen-carrying capacity of blood is normal yet an abnormal supply of the blood can’t able to meet the body’s needs. Some of the common heart conditions observed in babies are briefly described in the following:
a baby heartbeat can also suggest a heart murmur. Sometimes nothing is done with this common issue. After a few checkups a toddler then then be discharged following no treatment needed.
Atrial-Septal Defect (ASD)
ASD refers to the presence of a hole in the septum(membrane) between the atria and ventricle (heart chambers) of the babies. Although this condition is not fatal, yet baby has low blood pressure, bluish skin and fatigue. Most of the time septum heals itself with time. if not, surgery is required in older age.
baby heartbeat and Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (APVC)
APVC term is used to refer to a cardiac anomaly in babies, in which arteries responsible to connect the heart and lungs are not or poorly developed. Surgery is the ultimate solution for this heart condition.
Atrio-Ventricular Septal Defect (AVSD)
AVSD term refers to improper development of heart valves which are responsible for controlling the blood flow in heart chambers. Open heart surgery is performed in this heart condition and the baby is put on the bypass machine.
Aortic stenosis is used to refer to the narrowing of the Aorta, which is the main blood-carrying artery in the body. Due to aorta narrowing, an adequate amount of blood is not circulated in the body. “Balloon catheter” is used as primary treatment. If fails, then doctors move to open-heart surgery.