Fetal Monitoring

As concerned parents to be, all of us want to make sure that our babies are as safe as possible. Often, during the entire pregnancy, the mother will do everything that is within her power in order to protect her health, as this will also protect the child's health as well. As we approach the end of pregnancy and get closer to childbirth, it may become necessary to do some fetal monitoring on occasion in order to make sure that everything is going along as nicely as it should be. What are the different types of fetal monitoring that are done and are there any risk that are involved with it?

There are really only several types of fetal monitoring that are done. The most common type of monitoring which is performed is through a special type of instrument that resembles a stethoscope, which is called a fetoscope. This can be done during the second and third trimester, once the baby's heartbeat is strong enough to be heard in this way. Another type of fetal monitoring is known as the Doppler. This is a type of ultrasound which transmits the sounds that are heard inside of the womb through a speaker that is attached to the instrument. A Doppler can typically be used about six weeks earlier than a fetoscope.

During labor and delivery, fetal monitoring is almost always used. During this time, however, it can either be used externally or internally. The external fetal monitoring that is done during this time is also an ultrasonic type which is similar to the Doppler. It is also capable in most cases of monitoring the contractions that go along with labor as well as monitoring the baby's heartbeat. Internal fetal monitoring is done by attaching a small patch to the unborn child's scalp. This helps to give very accurate readings on the condition of the child and can help to monitor things whenever conditions get rather stressful for both the mother and child during delivery.

You will be happy to know that there are no real dangers that are involved with fetal monitoring, at least not as far as anybody is aware of. External fetal monitoring is as harmless as using a stethoscope but it can do a lot of good in helping to make sure that everything is going along nicely during pregnancy. The only real problem that may come about as a result of fetal monitoring is if a fetal monitor is attached directly to the unborn child's scalp. This may cause a little bit of irritation or perhaps a small cut to occur on the child's head. Fortunately, this typically heals rather quickly as babies are rather resilient when it comes to injuries such as this.

Fetal monitoring is just another way for you and your doctor to make sure that everything is going along nicely in your baby's development. It certainly has nothing for you to be concerned about so make sure that you take advantage of it whenever you have your doctor's visit.

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