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Low fetal heart rate

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I am wondering if anyone has any knowledge or resources regarding the possible risk factors of a low baseline fetal heart rate in late pregnancy. I am 40 weeks 3 days and the baby's heart rate has been normal until now. Today it was down to a baseline of around 100. My midwife sent me for an NST and u/s. the heart rate stayed low for a while but had good variability, accelerations etc. after 40 minutes of so it went up to at least the teens and has been at that or higher since. U/s was fine, baby very active, plenty of fluid - everything else is normal basically, just one period of low rates.

The OB wanted to induce me, surprise surprise. My midwife is concerned about monitoring the heart rate at home if the baseline is so low. Both said they have rarely seen this before, certainly not without other signs there may be a problem.

I am now staying in hospital overnight for monitoring, with the assumption I will probably be induced in the morning,

I would feel at peace with this if I really felt there was an increased risk, but even the OB admitted she just doesn't't know what is up. I really don't want to be in hospital, but even my (very experienced) HB midwife seems uncertain. I hate the thought of being induced, the EFM etc. let alone risk of further intervention, and for what feels like nothing. The heart rate isn't even low anymore!

Does anyone have any experience of this, or suggestions?


X-posted in birth and beyond
post #2 of 4

Well, it is morning now, so I don't know what you decided. I hope your baby's heartrate was okay all night and that they have given you some more days to try to go into labour on your own. But perhaps there is some concern and you are being induced! Good luck, either way, and let us know how it goes.

post #3 of 4

Good luck, mama! I like to keep in mind that I'm not opposed to a need-based hospital birth. In fact, we should all be thankful for that option. May you and your baby have the birth you need and be at peace with whatever that turns out to be. 

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi again, thanks for your replies! The heart rate has been normal all night and this morning too. The OB is still recommending induction because that is what the perinatologist they consulted yesterday said. But he also suggested I could go home and come back in a day or two for another test. My midwife suggested trying to kick start labour naturally today, so I am going to give that a go. I think I'm not far off anyway to be honest.

I feel frustrated that this one unknown has thrown everything upside down! I think if it were something that had a definite risk factor it would be easier to deal with, but one episode of otherwise normal lowered heart rate seems to be almost unheard of.

Anyway let's hope some of these strategies for getting things going work - I'm hoping to get acupuncture, stripped membranes, maybe castor oil... Fingers crossed!
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