Normal Pulse Rate in Females

Overview

Your pulse rate, also called your heart rate, represents the number of times your heart beats over a 60-second period. The Cleveland Clinic says your heart rate is lower at rest and increases with exercise as your heart supplies your muscles with the additional oxygen they need. Your pulse rate is fastest at birth and drops throughout your childhood and adolescence, according to “Essentials of Pediatric Nursing” by Theresa Kyle and Terri Kyle. Once you reach adulthood at 18 years of age, your pulse rate will be more a function of fitness level than of age, according to the Topend Sports Network.

Measuring Pulse Rate

If your female child is younger than 2 years, the “Essentials of Pediatric Nursing” recommends placing a stethoscope above and to the outside of her left nipple to count the heart beats in her chest. For older children, teens and adults, press your fingers at any point where an artery passes close to the skin. Some good choices are the radial artery on the inside of her wrist and the carotid artery on either side of her neck, according to Medline Plus.

Counting the Pulse

To measure the pulse rate for yourself or a child, you can count the number of times an artery pulsates in one minute. Alternatively, you can count the beats for 30 seconds and multiply by two, notes Medline Plus.

Childhood and Adolescence

Emedicine Net says that premature newborns should have a normal pulse rate of 120 to 170 beats per minute, while babies born full-term will run between 100 and 150 for the first 3 months. From 3 to 6 months, the norm is 90 to 120, and from 6 to 12 months, it’s 80 to 120. Girls between the ages of 1 to 3 years will typically have a pulse rate of 70 to 110 beats, and the norm drops to 65 to 110 for 3- to 6-year-olds. From age 6 to 12, girls will generally have a heart rate between 60 to 95, and this range drops to 55 to 85 for children between 12 and 18 years of age.

Adult Females

While normal pulse rates for adult females do change a little with age, the differences are subtle. For example, Topend Sports notes, if you’re a woman in below-average physical condition, your pulse will range between 79 to 84 beats per minute from age 18 to 26, changing only slightly to 77 to 82 for the next nine years.

Fitness Level

On the other hand, your fitness level has a powerful impact on your normal pulse rate. If you’re a 40-year-old woman, for example, your heart rate can be 85 or more beats per minute if you’re in poor physical condition. If you improve to an above-average fitness level, you can expect a pulse between 70 and 73. If you become a well-conditioned athlete, your pulse rate should run between 54 and 59.

About this Author

Sandy Keefe, MSN, RN, has been a freelance writer for five years. Her articles have appeared in numerous health-related magazines, including Advance for Nurses and Advance for Long-Term Care Management. She has written short stories in anthologies such as A Cup of Comfort for Parents of Children with Special Needs.