Electronic fetal monitoring measures a baby’s heartbeat during labor. It is used in all situations where there is increased risk, such as when labor is induced, when an epidural anesthetic is used, or in cases of high blood pressure.
A fetal monitor registers the baby’s heartbeat before it is born and can pick up any signs of distress during the process of labor and delivery. The monitor can be attached externally to the mother’s abdomen or internally by placing a small electrode on the baby’s scalp. Wires lead to a monitor where the heartbeat and the strength of the contractions are recorded.
External fetal monitoring can be conducted intermittently to allow the mother freedom to change positions and walk around. Internal monitoring relays a more accurate reading but is more invasive and limits the mother’s mobility.
The latest type of electronic fetal monitoring uses radio waves to transmit the data to the monitor. Using this type of monitor eliminates the wire and connections thereby allowing the mother free to move freely.
For additional information, please visit The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Meet Our Ultrasound Team
Visit our Women’s Imaging Specialists page and meet our ultrasound team.