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Talk to Me about Monitoring Fetal Heartrate - Page 2

post #21 of 33

This is something that I have also been thinking on in case I end up doing my partial-unassisted. I'd want a waterbirth so is a doplar better for that? Or can you use a fetoscope as long as your high enough out of the water that your belly's not under?

 

Here is the section on FHT monitoring from Ina May's Spiritual Midwifery:

 

"Baby's heartbeat should be checked and recorded every half hour during the first stage [of labor]. Always check if you have even a slight question in your mind about how the baby's doing. Then you can either dismiss the question or fix the situation. The normal heart rate is 120-160 beats per minute. The heart rate becomes slower at the onset, or sometimes the height, of a rush [Ina's term for contractions] and returns to normal by 10-15 seconds after the rush. A heart rate of less than 100 or more than 160 bpm with the uterus at rest suggests that the baby is in trouble. The baby's heart rate is somewhat harder to hear during a rush because the uterus is thicker, so check the heartbeat between rushes. A marked increase in the heart rate is the first sign of hypoxia, and also a sign of possible intrauterine infection of the baby. A slow heart rate or one that does not recover to normal after a rush always indicates fetal hypoxia and can be a sign that the cord may be compressed. Changing the mother's position especially if she has been lying on her back, often helps the baby's heart rate return to a normal pattern."

 

Btw, I would highly recommend reading that book. I just ordered her Guide to Childbirth as well.

post #22 of 33

It depends on how highly you prioritize knowing that your child is alive, and their condition at a given moment so you can take action to save them if they start losing oxygen.. If that information wont change your decisions, it is irrelevant.

post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by pregnova View Post

So, I've fairly ambivalent towards monitoring fetal heartrate both in the pregnancy and during the birth. I'd love to hear what others have to say on the subject or what they've personally done. How important is it? What will it tell me about the pregnancy or birth that I wouldn't know otherwise?

 

Thanks guys!

Personally I wouldn't normally pull out a fetoscope or doppler in labor. I rather monitor kick counts, something I do throughout. And I'm not really "counting" as much as noting a normal amount of fetal movement, because at that point you become pretty aware of what is normal vs less than normal.

 

I think I would use the doppler on the presenting baby between births if having multiples. Time will tell what I decide, as you all know I think there's more than one on board. I'm not really concerned that I'll have any issues with a low stress pregnancy and optimal maternal nutrition. My babies have always had agpars of 10.

post #24 of 33

I've seen a few posts in the UC forum lately that make me feel the need to remind everyone of the forum guidelines:

 

Quote:
The Unassisted Childbirth (UC) board is a forum of support, respectful requests for information and sharing of ideas and experiences. While we will not restrict discussions only to those who birth without professional attendants, we will actively discourage individuals from posting with no sincere interest in exploring UC. Proselytizing against UC will not be permitted. Controversial subjects of discussion related to UC can be found elsewhere on the internet, and we invite you to seek out other venues for that purpose.

While we wish to support women throughout the birthing process, we cannot host threads seeking advice during unassisted labor. Labor announcement threads are fine, but any posts seeking advice will be removed. We encourage you to share your birth narrative afterwards in MDC's Birth Stories subforum. Discussions at Mothering.com, MotheringDotCommunity and the Birth & Beyond boards are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read here. Please see the forum disclaimer here.

It is our goal to maintain a helpful and welcoming atmosphere for everyone. You may contact a Moderator if at any time you are unsure about the Forum Guidelines or if you have any questions, concerns or comments. Please take care to post in accordance with the MDC User Agreement.

Implying that someone does not prioritize their child's life is not respectful, kind or helpful. kgdg Please edit your post so that you may continue to post to this forum. 

post #25 of 33

I had it checked at every OB visit, but we didn't get a doppler or monitor during labor at all. I didn't feel like it would help us, if anything it would distract us and possibly make us worry over nothing. I'm not trained to know what are normal decelerations. If I would have had a midwife or OB deliver, I would have declined all monitoring as well.

post #26 of 33

I've never thought of using one before for a UC - I don't want to become my own midwife.  It seems to me to be checking to see if something will go wrong...

Though, if I "felt" I should, I would.  UC to me is more about going with your gut, than where and how your baby is born.  So if your gut says use one - it's not really a UC to not.

post #27 of 33

I decided to order a doppler with a waterproof probe for my rather unexpected UC.  I guess that's also a sign that I'm still not 100% comfortable with the idea, but it's something that will help me be *more* comfortable with it.  [My plan, all along, was to have a midwife assisted homebirth, but we came to an impasse on GD testing.  I was considering transferring to a hospital based CNM group, but they wouldn't see me unless I did the 3 hour glucola test... refuse (which I had to for my health - not a stubbornness thing) and I was automatically assigned to the high risk OB and diabetes care teams.]

 

So I asked some opinions in a pregnancy community where I knew quite a few moms rented/purchased dopplers.  I found an inexpensive one that I plan to use for the last 8 weeks of my own prenatal care and intermittently during labor.  I have a fetoscope, and I used it successfully during my first 2 pregnancies.  But this time, I'm having a hard time finding the baby's heartbeat with it - no problem at all finding my placenta, though!  I don't plan to use it for fun nor to use it daily - just once every 2 weeks for the next 4 weeks and then weekly until s/he starts labor in his/her own time.  Then I'll occasionally listen through a contraction to make sure s/he reacting well.  Like I said, for me it's a comfort measure - some might even say a crutch.  But I haven't had long to mentally prepare to do this without a birth professional - I'm relying heavily on the support of my husband and a couple friends who have some basic medical training (but not in L&D) to help me though labor and birth at home.

post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia Mosher View Post

I've seen a few posts in the UC forum lately that make me feel the need to remind everyone of the forum guidelines:

 

Implying that someone does not prioritize their child's life is not respectful, kind or helpful. kgdg Please edit your post so that you may continue to post to this forum. 

I did not get that impression at all.  A large part of UC philosophy is trusting our bodies and our babies and accepting that we can not control life/death and they go hand in hand.  It has nothing to do with priorities.  I would rather not medically manage the possibility of death.  I feel that doing so would interrupt my physiologic process whether premature birth/miscarriage/conception or full term birth; I believe that managing that could put me in real physical and psychological danger.  So i completely understand what the OP was saying and don't feel that she should be bullied into editing it.   Okay, on second thought i checked out the posts of the poster in question and i can see where there could be an impression that this may not be a UC or even natural CB friendly individual.  


Edited by eminencejae - 10/7/12 at 11:23am
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by kgdg View Post

It depends on how highly you prioritize knowing that your child is alive, and their condition at a given moment so you can take action to save them if they start losing oxygen.. If that information wont change your decisions, it is irrelevant.

I think this could be taken negatively depending upon individual choice.  Personally, I am un offended and in agreance with the general idea of it.  Which is about trust/surrender and personal empowerment with decision making.  The question I always ask myself is "What would i do with the information?"  

post #30 of 33

As to the original question;  If you personally feel that electronic monitoring or any type of monitoring of anything in any way, will bring you more comfort than worry and you are comfortable with the new options and choices it may bring you... Then by all means do whatever it is you yourself need to do to be comfortable and assured.  Just be educated and open minded and self respecting about it.  That's what UCing is about for me.  It is a very personal process.

post #31 of 33

“It depends on how highly you prioritize knowing that your child is alive, and their condition at a given moment so you can take action to save them if they start losing oxygen.. If that information wont change your decisions, it is irrelevant.”

 

The insulting thing about this is the idea that if a mom had information to save her child that she would just not care enough to change her decisions and do so.  

 

But it is wrong to imply that you can have this information without any risks or without interfering with labor in possibly dangerous ways.  If monitoring makes a woman scared, gets her into the wrong headspace, or that monitoring leads to unnecessary intervention, then that is not the safest possible way for her to birth. 

 

If there were a magical way for each woman to know if they could have a healthy live baby in a particular birth, without interfering with the process at all, then I bet that would sound better than the reality that some women apparently experience with monitoring.

post #32 of 33

This is a bit OT, but does doing a FHT check yourself sort of pull you out of labor land mentally?  I've had three very hands-off homebirths and consider FHT checks during labor a necessary nuisance.  They annoy me because I really prefer to be left completely alone during labor, but I do like to have them.  I've only had a total of 4 between the 3 births.  I wonder if I felt responsible for doing them myself if it would really annoy me to have to do them (and I know I wouldn't *have* to do them but I think I would definitely feel more comfortable doing a few during a UC).
 

post #33 of 33

I have a Doppler but with my last UC I never used it. In fact it never even crossed my mind. I liked having one there 'just in case' but I didn't use it at all.

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