A healthy pregnancy is every woman’s dream. It’s the reason why pregnant women are advised to go for prenatal check-ups. Today, there are pre-pregnancy/preconception check-ups where women are advised on how to live healthy lives before pregnancy. This is just to ensure that they are healthy when they get pregnant.
In this case, however, a prenatal check-up is essentially important as it aims to ensure both the mother’s health as well as that of the baby. Before birth, your healthcare provider may subject you to various tests that check the health of your unborn baby. It’s a common procedure that has over the years improved thanks to advancements in medical technology.
Before you go through with fetal monitoring, it’s essentially important that you sit with your doctor and discuss the most suitable monitoring procedure best suited for your condition. This is because there are various ways through which fetal monitoring can be carried out.
Methods of Fetal Monitoring
1. External Fetal Monitoring
External monitoring is done through the use of special equipment. Depending on how advanced the clinic is, they may either use a fetoscope or a doppler. Fetoscopes are special stethoscopes that have a different shape used to get information about the condition of the fetus within the uterus.
On the other hand, a doppler is a non-invasive ultrasound technique that is done by bouncing frequency sound waves to produce the image of the fetus while still it’s in the uterus. For decades, this has proved to be an effective monitoring technique but it has its limitations on the mothers because of the wires they attach on their bellies. Thanks to modern medical inventions, there are now cutting edge wireless fetal monitoring solutions that are significantly comfortable and offer a lot of mobility and flexibility to pregnant women.
2. Internal Monitoring
Internal fetal monitoring involves inserting an electrode through the cervix and placing it directly on the fetus’ scalp. It’s a slightly uncomfortable procedure especially to women who are not used to vaginal exams. Though a bit invasive, you’ll not need any special care after the procedure. This means that you can resume your normal activities unless told otherwise by your physician.
3. Internal Heart Monitoring
Mothers with high-risk pregnancies may need to undergo fetal heart monitoring. These are mothers with high blood pressure or diabetes. In addition to this, it’s a helpful procedure for mothers with babies who are not developing as they should.
For non-stop internal heart monitoring, especially for high-risk pregnancies, mothers may need to have a wire placed inside the cervix until the baby is born. This wire will allow the doctors to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and its vitals until it’s born. Once the baby is born, the wire can be safely removed.
The Benefits of Fetal Monitoring
It’s a common practice for women to go through prenatal care. This way, they can be sure about their health as well as that of their unborn babies. There are various benefits associated with fetal monitoring including:
- Fetal monitoring helps to reassure both partners that their unborn child is healthy
- Fetal monitoring can also tell the sex of the fetus, especially to curious partners
- It can help to detect any problems with the pregnancy and thus help to treat them before it’s too late
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What Are The Risks Associated With Fetal Monitoring?
There are no known risks associated with external fetal monitoring. In some situations, however, there may be an infection, especially with internal fetal monitoring. In addition to this, with internal fetal monitoring and depending on the doctor’s experience and qualification, the fetus might be at a great risk of bruising.
Caregivers need to practice high levels of hygiene and care when administering any of these procedures. Before consenting to any test or procedures, pregnant mothers should ensure the following:
- They know about the monitoring procedure
- They know the reasons for going through with the procedure
- They know of the risks involved
- The alternatives if any
- How they’ll handle the test results
- How much they’ll have to pay for the procedure
Essentially important is sitting with your doctor and having them explain all that there is to know about your options. Depending on the results, your doctor may recommend changing the baby’s position or give your unborn baby more oxygen. Whatever the scenario, there should be no reason for alarm. It’s just the means of ensuring that your baby is safe and healthy.