Heart Murmur in Unborn Babies

In a fetus, as the blood moves through the chambers, valves, and major vessels of the heart, it can make a faint noise, which is called a heart murmur. The murmur can make several noises including vibrations, rumbling, humming, swishing, gurgling, or musical sounds. Most of the time, the murmur is diagnosed as an "innocent," "functional," "normal," or "harmless." However, fetal heart murmurs can be an indication of heart disease. Your doctor may suggest a fetal echocardiogram of your unborn baby's heart to rule out or confirm any heart defects.

Fast Facts:

  • Heart problems are the most common birth defect, occurring in about one out 120 babies.
  • Fetal echocardiography can be performed any time after the 16th week of pregnancy, but it is best between the 18th and 22nd week.
  • A heart ultrasound uses no radiation, therefore, it can be used on people of all ages.