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do you moniter heart rates?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
HI, there. I'm expecting my 8th baby at the end of Oct. I had my first three babies at home with a midwife, my 4th and 6th were birthcenter waterbirths, the 5th was my only hospital birth, due to concerns with my health, and my last was a perfect home waterbirth where I got to catch my own baby!

Now I want to do this myself. I'm not to worried about it, I have generally easy labors and I've read everything I can get my hands on over the past 15 years. But I've started to wonder about fetal heart monitering during labor.

My labors are very fast but I figure that's my blessing for going 2+ weeks over due every time. With my last birth the midwife only checked fetal heart tones once in the 30 minutes she was at my home before the birth.

The only time I remember heart tones being an issue was with my first and that one was a real nightmare, I would have been sectioned if I'd been at a hospital, as it was I ended up with a episiotomy and was nearly transported.

If you do moniter what do you use? I have only seen a midwife 2x with this pregnancy. I don't do any pee testing, etc. I've checked my weight occaisionaly just curious, I don't gain weight while pg, only when nursing, go figure! But I don't have swelling, bp issues,etc. Never have, not expecting to. I figure the only things that can go wrong would go wrong at a hospital too. I'm trying not to borrow trouble, while still knowing what to do for emergencies.

I'm not telling anyone I'm not going to call the midwife, they would freak. I think my sister suspects but she's not saying anything. Is there anything else you would recomend I think about?
post #2 of 14
I don't have any advice, I just wanted to thank you and this board. This is the only place I have been that I haven't felt like a freak for not having the typical 2.5 children. Good luck on your delivery.
post #3 of 14
You can get a fetoscope fairly easily online, if you wish to monitor fetal heart tones. I'd advise getting it well in advance of your expected date of birth, that way you can practice differentiating between your heartbeat and your baby's. It's hardly necessary, though.
post #4 of 14


"sagegirl" it isn't at all practical to monitor yourself with a fetoscope durring labor. Can you describe how the OP is supposed to do this?

"busymomof7" congratulations and I hope you have another beautiful birth. I don't think monitoring is necessary and I have not monitored myself or had anyone else monitor my last 3 births for FHT. However if you feel it must be done, let your support person do it while you focus on the birthing. If you don't have one, a stethascope of a borrowed doppler would be easier and quicker and more comfortable. I do think that measuring heart is an unusual thing to think about doing an intuitive birth.

having had a 1.5hr birth last time myself, I didn't even have time to comb my hair or get the blankets warmed, let alone think about BP or FHT or anyother medical things...

Best wishes to you both...
post #5 of 14
Not going to monitor mine either.
post #6 of 14
Being that no one has seven children by asexual reproduction, I assumed she'd have her husband/SO there to help her.
post #7 of 14
I used a stethescope during my pregnancy just to listen to the heartbeat for fun. But I didn't listen during labor, and I don't plan on listening this next time.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
LOL! No asexual reproduction happ'n around here!

Thanks for the info. I'm not sure what I'll do with the birth, I guess my real curiousity has to do with all this time waiting for the baby. Once I'm in labor I doubt I'll think twice about monitering, I don't have time for thinking.
post #9 of 14
not such a good idea to try and listen to the baby by yourself while in labor- accessing heart rate takes higher brain functions - it is thought to be best to avoid engaging your higher brain while in labor.

at a point while I was laboring with #4 my ears could hear but my brain could not make sense of what I was hearing
post #10 of 14
bsymomto7, are you telling me with 7 active kids you are afraid of getting bored durring labor Maybe make a birthday cake, or oversee the kids with some sort of welcome baby prohect.

I agree with the higher brain function comment

sagegirl, you're so "sage"!! but don't you know many UCers like to be ALONE durring birth? I'd think with so many bodies around durring the rest of life, it might be nice (if I were bsymom, anyhow) to spend some quiet time and birth solo.
post #11 of 14
Congrats bsymomof7! Large families are the norm on the other board i am on...the moderator has 10! See if your husband will check heartrate, if you like. I agree with the higher brain function thing...I taught my assistant to check the hr during labor, and then I could just relax and let go...it is hard to be mw and laboring client at the same time..
post #12 of 14
I wouldn't want my husband monitoring hearttones during labor for the simple reason that he doesn't want to be the midwife. Nor does he have experience in it, and I think that would stress him out, trying to interpret what he was hearing. And he would feel the need to check with me, when the whole point is for me not to engage my higher brain functioning, as mwherbs points out.

I don't know though, I think I might be able to do it just fine myself without getting into my head -- during pregnancy I listened plenty, and it wasn't an intellectual thing at all, it was like listening to music. It's not something you have to be consciously analyzing. I got to the point where I could tell whether the heartbeat was faster or slower than normal, just by "feel". Using the music analogy again, you can become aware of wrong notes without sitting there thinking, "now I am going to listen and see if I can hear any wrong notes."


Myself, I didn't listen to FHTs in labor. I didn't feel like listening to the baby as I did in pregnancy, so it would have had to have been a clinical "in my head" sort of thing, and I felt very strongly, intuitively, that if I was inwardly quiet enough I would be able to be aware of any warning signals.
post #13 of 14
I think that monitoring the heart rate is about as useful as checking dialation. Just another thing to stress about like fourlittlebirds said.
We thought about doing that with dd2- and figured it was going to be the last thing on our minds during labor.
post #14 of 14
Thought about it, but didn't do it, and wouldn't have had time anyway. (Nor did I have a doppler or stethoscope to listen with :LOL )

I think intuition goes a long way during a UC. I never felt like anything was "wrong: with baby, kwim?

Good luck and congrats on #8!
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