During labor your doctor and nurse will be checking your baby's heart rate to track how well the baby is doing and tolerating your contractions. The electronic fetal heart monitor is also used to detect signs of fetal distress.
External fetal heart monitoring is performed by attaching wide stretchy bands that hold two electronic disks called transducers to your abdomen. One of the electronic disks monitors your baby's heartbeat and the other tracks your contractions.
The transducers send this information to the monitor, which records and prints it on a continuous strip of paper. Your baby's heartbeats are also sent to our nurses' station, where they are closely monitored. If the volume is turned up on the machine you may be able to hear your baby's heartbeat. Ask your nurse to show you how the machine works and how to tell when it registers a contraction.
Mobile Fetal Heart Monitoring: MoBap offers mobile fetal heart monitoring which allows you to walk around the Childbirth Center during labor. This mobile option is also waterproof so that it can be used in the shower or in the warm water labor pool. You may also have the option to have intermittent rather than continuous fetal heart monitoring if you and your baby are doing fine.
You can be sure to address your fetal heart monitoring options with your doctor using our birth plan worksheet.
Questions on fetal monitoring? Give us a call at MoBap, call (314) 996-5751, or email us.