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Non-invasive fetal health monitoring during pregnancy has become increasingly important. Recent advances in signal processing technology have enabled fetal monitoring during pregnancy, using abdominal ECG recordings. Ubiquitous ambulatory monitoring for continuous fetal health measurement is however still unfeasible due to the computational complexity of noise robust solutions. In this paper an ECG R-peak detection algorithm for ambulatory R-peak detection is proposed, as part of a fetal ECG detection algorithm. The proposed algorithm is optimized to reduce computational complexity, while increasing the R-peak detection quality compared to existing R-peak detection schemes. Validation of the algorithm is performed on two manually annotated datasets, the MIT/BIH Arrhythmia database and an in-house abdominal database. Both R-peak detection quality and computational complexity are compared to state-of-the-art algorithms as described in the literature. With a detection error rate of 0.22% and 0.12% on the MIT/BIH Arrhythmia and in-house databases, respectively, the quality of the proposed algorithm is comparable to the best state-of-the-art algorithms, at a reduced computational complexity.