Monitoring your baby’s heartbeat during labor

The moment you become pregnant and intend to keep the pregnancy, you will realize that you need to monitor your baby’s health until the time they are born. That is why fetal Doppler is very common. Usually, there are several options for monitoring your baby’s health and you will have to choose the one to go with. The two options available to you for monitoring baby’s breathing during delivery are continuous monitoring often abbreviated as CM and intermittent auscultation, abbreviated as IA. Like the name suggests, CM is usually used to record the heartbeat of the baby throughout labor. On the other hand, IA is used to check the heartbeat of the baby only at certain times during the process of labor. For women who have low-risk pregnancies. IA is usually a better choice. You can ask for this method of monitoring the baby when you go to the hospital to deliver.

Low-risk women don’t need CM

At the moment, there is no evidence that indicates that continuous monitoring presents an advantage over intermittent auscultation in low-risk pregnancies. There have been several studies conducted to compare the two methods and it was concluded that CM doesn’t have the capability to reduce the risk of cerebral palsy, death, and admission to IC units that babies face during birth. However, babies who are continuously monitored exhibit fewer seizures even though these kinds of seizures have been determined not to be harmful.

CM limits your movement during labor

In order for doctors to be able to monitor pregnant women continuously during child delivery process, the woman has to be attached to a machine that records the necessary data. The machine usually has sensors which are attached to the belly of the woman or inserted through their vagina. These sensors are therefore able to record fetal heart rate and uterine contractions. Whereas this is a good thing, it significantly limits the ability for the woman to walk around during labor. Besides that, the machine that is attached to the woman can also be uncomfortable.

The above situation doesn’t happen in IA because the woman can move around as much as they want. However, the doctor will have to check the heartbeat of the baby every once in a while, during the entire process. The ability to walk and move around a lot during pregnancy is very important because it reduces the time one needs to deliver. Moving around and standing during labor has also been associated with fewer C-sections.

CM can lead to unnecessary procedures

 When comparing IA and CM, the latter has been known to cause far too many false alarms and unnecessary procedures. That can be seen form the fact that women who have CM tend to have more C-sections than those who have IA monitoring. C-section delivery comes with several risks because it is a major surgical procedure. Some of the risks associated with C-section include pain and infection followed by long recovery periods. Women who undergo C-section also face complications during future pregnancies and the babies they give birth to have more problems related to breathing.