How Do You Interpret a Fetal Monitor Strip?

Fetal heart rate tracing analyzes four factors: heart rate, variability in heart rate, accelerations, and decelerations.

The normal fetal heart rate ranges between 110 and 160 beats per minute. Most babies have a heart rate somewhere between 120 and 150 beats per minute. In general, the younger the baby, the faster its heart rate. When the fetal heart rate is above 160 beats per minute, it is called tachycardia. When it is below 110 to 120 beats per minute, it is called bradycardia. Both tachycardia and bradycardia indicate potential problems in the fetus.