Electronic Fetal Monitoring

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Electronic fetal monitoring is a method for examining the condition of a baby in the uterus by noting any unusual changes in its heart rate. Electronic fetal monitoring is performed late in pregnancy or continuously during labor to ensure normal delivery of a healthy baby. Dr. Edward Hill discusses electronic fetal monitoring in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Electronic fetal monitoring is a way for your doctor to know how your baby is doing when you are in labor.

There are two devicesone that measures your contractions and one that measures your babys heartbeat. They are usually placed on your stomach. If that doesnt work well, your doctor may need to use a device that goes inside your body. One can be placed on your babys head to measure your babys heartbeat. Another device fits between your baby and the wall of your uterus. This can check how strong your contractions are if your labor is not moving along.

Your doctor will watch to make sure your babys heartbeat does not get too low during your contractions. If it does, your doctor may have you change positions and give you oxygen. If the problem continues, you may need to have an assisted or Cesarean delivery.

Fetal monitoring is not always accurate. It is just one tool that your doctor may use to help make decisions while you are in labor.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.