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The Normal Pulse Rate During Pregnancy

author image Lisa Weber
Lisa Weber is a freelance writer/editor and former special education teacher. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and professional writing, and a master's degree in special education. Over the last 15 years, she has written for a variety of newspapers, magazines, and on-line publications.
The Normal Pulse Rate During Pregnancy
Your normal pulse rate may change during pregnancy. Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Pregnancy brings about many changes in a woman's body. Included in those changes may be your pulse rate, which increases during pregnancy. According to Baby Fit, a resting pulse rate is different for every woman, and is based on your level of fitness before pregnancy and your age. Your doctor will monitor your pulse rate throughout your pregnancy, and may make recommendations in your care accordingly.

What to Expect

Your normal resting heart rate will be higher during pregnancy. According to KidsHealth, a pregnant woman's heart rate increases during pregnancy to pump more blood. As more of her blood supply goes to the uterus, her heart works harder to send enough blood to the rest of the body.

Normal Rate

A pregnant woman's normal pulse rate depends on several factors, according to Baby Fit. These include her age, fitness level, and health before getting pregnant. However, a typical resting heart rate for an adult woman is 75 beats per minute; when pregnant, that same woman can expect her resting rate to be approximately 80 beats per minute.


It used to be that pregnant women were advised not to allow their heart rate to go above 140 beats per min during pregnancy. However, in 1994, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology changed its recommendation because there was no evidence that a heart rate greater than 140 beats per min was harmful for the mother or baby. Instead, pregnant women should use their perceived rate of exertion to measure intensity, and aim to exercise at a level that allows them to carry on a conversation while exercising.

Baby's Pulse Rate

Besides monitoring the mother's heart rate, your doctor will also monitor the baby's heart rate throughout the entire pregnancy. A fetus' average heart rate is between 140 and 150 beats per min while in the womb. According to OBGYN.net, the fetus' heart rate is not an indicator of its gender, despite claims to the contrary.


Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program while pregnant. Your doctor may place limits on your activity or exertion level depending on your health and the health of your baby.

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