Fetal Monitoring

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What contributes to Caesareans?

Fetal Monitoring

Research has clearly shown that the use of
external fetal monitors gives NO improvement
in any measurement of fetal outcome...in other
words, no fewer babies die, APGAR scores are
no higher, and there are no fewer admissions to neonatal intensive care.

There has been only only one thing correlated
with use of external fetal monitoring...an
increase in number of cesarean sections. (And,
again, these babies show no better outcomes.)

It is important to periodically monitor how
baby is coping with contractions. This can be
done using intermittent fetal monitoring, but
can also be done using a handheld Doppler or
even with a traditional fetoscope. These provide
the same information without the disadvantage
of restricting your mobility.

What are the drawbacks of external fetal
monitoring? Besides the increased likelihood
of cesarean section, they also decrease your
mobility by confining you to a flat-on-the-back
position. This not only increases pain, but
also can actually cause the problem it is
supposed to be catching...decreased oxygen
supply to the baby.



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