On the fifth week of pregnancy the heart of the unborn baby starts beating, and this fetal heartbeat is highly important for monitoring the health of the pregnant. This is what a fetal heart monitor is for.
What is a Fetal Heart Monitor?
It is also referred to as a Doppler fetal monitor. It’s a device, which helps a doctor and mother to observe the heartbeat of an unborn baby. The use of such device is an essential part of a prenatal care. The monitor is an ultra-sound transducer that uses a known Doppler effect for providing an audio replica of the baby’s heartbeat.
During the procedure of monitoring a nurse evaluates the strip for adequacy and continuity for interpretation. The task is to identify the baseline fetal rate of heart as well as the presence of variability, determining whether there are any decelerations and accelerations from the baseline. The nurse will also identify patterns of uterine contraction.
All this information allows determining whether the heart rate recording is nonreassuring, reassuring or ominous. This helps in developing a whole plan for the situation of delivering the baby in the best manner possible.
What Are the Types of Monitoring?
Fetal heartbeat monitor is used during pregnancy, labor, as well as delivery in order to keep the heart rate track of the fetus, the duration and strength of contractions of the uterus. The heart rate is a perfect way of telling whether the baby may have some problems or is doing well.
As for today they recognize two types of monitoring:
The first one is usually done by listening to the fetal heartbeat using a special stethoscope. In most cases external monitoring is done by means of two flat sensors that are held in place with the elastic belts on one’s belly.
Internal monitoring is normally done after the cervix has already dilated to 2 centimeters and the amniotic has ruptured. The procedure is done continuously.
Electronic Fetal Monitor
What is an electronic fetal monitor? This is a device that is used in all American hospital obstetrics for monitoring the fetal heart rate as well as uterine contractions during labor. It appeared in 1950s, and since that time is commonly used in most obstetrics.
The monitoring of this type is basically intended to detect all possible abnormalities in the baby’s heart rate and can indicate problems with the fetus. Thus, it helps to prevent possible injuries or death during delivery.
These fetal heart monitors continuously record the uterine contractions on the lower channel and the instantaneous fetal heart rate on the upper channel. They act by attaching to detect each urine contraction and the fetal heart.
Such method can be used intermittently. It requires some training, as it has a person on the other end, and also allows mother to maintain her mobility. In fact, it is easier to use it during a contraction, as it uses ultrasound and doesn’t provide the monitoring that is needed for high risk labors.
Monitoring with the help of an electronic fetal device is always available and can be freely used for measuring the wellbeing of an unborn child and assessing the labor progress. As the monitor is highly sensitive, it can indicate a contraction even before one notices the pain subsiding. And this is highly useful, as it saves tool and becomes the source of encouragement for parents.
Be sure that all types of fetal monitoring systems are needed. They enable the surveillance of normal pregnancies. In addition to this they also promote pretty huge population studies of the physiological development of the baby through pregnancy.