"Our findings reveal that synchronization between the heartbeat of a mother and fetus does actually occur — but only when the mother is breathing in a rhythmical fashion. The fetus can sense the rhythmical shift in the mother's heartbeat and adapts its own heartbeat accordingly."
So when unborn babies' heartbeats do not synchronize with their mothers' rhythmic heartbeats, specialists now know this in an indication that something might be wrong. Doctors can then work on identifying the specific problem and take steps to fix it.
Researchers were careful to note that, during normal breathing, the phenomenon of heartbeat synchronization may not necessarily occur. But the fact that it can, and does, occur during patterned, rhythmic breathing highlights an interesting connection between mother and child during the earliest stages of child development.
Physicians are already using the study findings to treat pregnant women at the Gronemeyer Institute for Microtherapy at Witten-Herdencke University in Germany.