My doctor just told me she thinks continuous monitoring is a good idea in active labor. Well, actually, not my doctor, but her partner who may (but probably won't) end up being on call. Let me preface this by saying I like both these OBs in person. Their practice has a very low c-section rate for OBs (10%), they are not pushing any sort of mandatory induction deadline, my doula has worked with them and says she respects them a lot, and they are generally hands off and very forthright and respectful when answering my questions. The two sticking points are IV use (no heplock, unless I need to use the shower) and continuous monitoring. Which confuses me, because my doctor told me a long time ago that there was only continuous monitoring during pushing. So I still need to clarify this point with her, but just in case I want to be prepared.
At any rate, the one who said continuous monitoring stressed that she doesn't see it as restrictive. She said I can still be up, use the birth ball, chair, etc. and it can be removed if I want to use the shower or anything like that. In her words, "I don't understand why you would not use it if you are just going to be by the bed anyway." (Of course, then I think, "WHy would you use it, when studies show that in low risk births it isn't any more helpful than intermittent monitoring?" but I didn't say that.)
Mostly because of insurance reasons and lack of many options in my area, there is not a hospital midwife practice available to me, and no birth centers. There is one who works with a very interventive OB practice and there's a chance I'd end up w/one of those doctors, so rather than take that risk and switch at 32 weeks, I'm choosing to stick w/my OB practice, which I generally like. This is my first birth and both for insurance and comfort level reasons, I don't see homebirth as an option (possibly w/the next kid).
Anyway...all that is leading up to my question: for those of you who did have continuous monitoring, how was it for you? Was it uncomfortable and restrictive, or not that big a deal, as the doctor says?
My related question is, how much did you feel the need to move around in active labor? But I will start another thread for that.