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i'm due today and not sure if i'm doing UC or not. we plan to see how it goes and do a UC if we feel comfortable with it or transfer if not. "we" means DH and i. i think i would feel better having a doppler because that's really the only thing that would tell me the baby is not in distress, right? it looks like a lot of people don't use any monitoring but how do you know the babies heart rate isn't dropping or she isn't in distress? i'm about to pay a lot of money for a rental because i need overnight shipping and i'm nervous about spending that much if i don't need to because dopplers aren't necessary or i end up transferring anyway
 

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The moms who show up at the hospital pushing never had a fetal heart check either. Continuous monitoring has no benefit over intermittent in the statistics, we know that, maybe monitoring at all isn't always that important. Interpretation of hearttones is more art than science, different care providers sometimes will call pattern distress while others will not. That said, yes it's a prety good indication of fetal distress vs no distress in a lot of cases. Some parents are just as comfortable just following instinct, paying attention to baby's movements, and watching for meconium in the waters. Follow your gut feeling about it and do what's comfortable for you.
 

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well it can't be all that "important" if people didn't have them for thousands of years heh... I don't have one.

but really, it is a personal comfort issue. I wouldn't *mind* having one, but chances are I wouldn't use it anyhow. or I'd be obsessed with using it - even worse- relying on it to tell me the baby was "ok" every minute. that would drive me nuts and be a big unnecessary distraction to me personally... but that's me.

There are other ways to tell if baby is in distress. a lot of times mom's just "know". not always... but more often than not mom gets a feeling. I suspect that spiritually, biologically and perhaps chemically/hormonally moms get a signal when things aren't right inside. another sign is fetal movement. babies don't have regular movement as normal if they HB in deceling. so on and so forth.

so yeah. it's totally a personal thing. for me it would be a distraction. but for some it could be a real help.
 

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I didn't use a doppler. We did have a fetoscope but I knew it was unlikely we'd use it during labor. I probably was somewhat assured by the fact that with my son, the mw arrived 30 minutes before he was born, so obviously, I wasn't having FHT checked. I remembered the very calm assurance I had during my first daughter's birth (hospital) when they wanted to check FHT. I told them that I knew she was fine. The nurse made some noise about "just because she's moving doesn't mean she's fine," but I wasn't capable of explaining how I knew she was fine independent of any movement.


I felt very in tune with dd2 during our UC. We 'communicated' quite a lot, so much so that I never considered anything being wrong once I was in labor.

That said, I can certainly understand why some people would want one on hand 'just in case.' Even though I have never had a problem with pp bleeding, I really wanted lots of options there 'just in case' - each woman has her own personal 'niggling' thing.
 

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I have a doppler only because we have had pregnancy losses in the past and have had a lot of complications this time. I don't use it very often but it is nice to know he has a beating heart if I haven't felt him in a while. During labor, if we have the UC I am dreaming of... I don't know if we will use it or not. We will just have to see.. and then it would be an instinct thing... like 'I feel something is really wrong. I want to check his heartbeat' not 'oh, it has been an hour let's check. Make sense?
 

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A good friend of mine was having an H4BAC (although I don't think that had anything to do with this complication) and her child became oxygen deprived during labor for an unknown reason and had a stroke. The midwife caught it quickly becuase of the abnormal heart tones. They rushed to the hospital and the baby ended up ok (but it was truly a miracle...the doctors were telling the family to prepare themselves). I know stuff like that is SO rare, and UC is all about trusting your instincts, but *personally* I'd want a doppler for reasons like that.
 

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I didn't have a Doppler and won't in the future. I wouldn't know what to do with one, how to read heartrate signs, etc. When things like that get introduced (doppler, U/S, and for me, midwives) my faith in myself and my body lessens and I begin to put more trust in others and other things. This is why I chose UC in the first place, b/c those things caused me to doubt my body and my own intuition/insight. Took me a few births to realize it fully. My UC allowed me to birth without those interferences, and you will be amazed at how connected you are to what is going on, without a Doppler. You and your body rise to the occasion!
And I can't imagine a UC with stopping to listen for fetal heart tones, trying to decipher them and make decision to transfer based on them.

I am also in the camp of I would rather head to the hospital post birth than risk the harmful interventions of being there beforehand.


Now, I understand that there are those rare occurrences when someone who is experienced listening to those heart tones can catch something like the pp mentioned...but if I was living for those anomalies, then I wouldn't be having a UC to begin with.
 

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I had a dobbler and was happy to have access to one at my attempted UC 2 years ago. I ended up with a long transition phase where I was pretty sure something was wrong. In that case it was a relief to be able to use the dobbler to hear there was a steady strong heartrate still. If I hadnt had access to one it is possible I would have transferred earlier just to be on the safe side.
I did end up transferring and had a section as he was malpositioned (military, deflexed and had his head turned across the pelvis so it couldnt engage).

Personally I would want one - not to read or interpret numbers - but simply to hear - is there a good steady heartrate between contractions. I personally think a dobbler is a pretty innocent tool to have available if you suddenly feel the need to know for sure whether everything is right or not. Could ofcourse result in transfer for no reason - but could also result in you staying home in a case where you would otherwise have transferred if you knew baby was ok.

For my attempted UC we didnt even think to use it for the first many hours as I felt baby kick and move from time to time - but when transition set in and it just went on and on with no progress - it came in very handy to reassure me baby was ok.
 

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I did not use one for my UC and everything was fine but if I had it to do over again I would prefer to have one to use for intermittent monitoring of heart tones. Dopplers can spot a true emergency such as an umbilical cord prolapse due to dramatically decreased heart tones.

Midwives spot these things and transfer, I think it makes sense for UC-ers to spot them as well. I love the idea of intuition and all but I like the idea of being able to spot a potentially deadly problem in time even better.
 

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isn't continuous fetal monitoring cause a lot of unnecessary c-sec? and I'm just thinking out loud here, but if you saw on your doppler that your baby was in distress (provided you would be able to know that when what everyone has been saying is right, interpreting that is an art and most docs don't even have it down)---if it was really in distress, say a cord wrapped tight around the neck, and you're at home--- could you get to a hospital in time? what kind of fetal distress wouldn't need to be dealt with immediately?

Anyhow, that's just me thinking out loud. food for thought. I'm not going to have a doppler, but I'm going to be very sparsely equipped. People were having babies for many many many years before birth supplies. And last I heard, fetal monitoring was up for debate as to weather it really was beneficial or just wound up leading to unnecessary c-sec?. However, UC is about your comfort. You don't want any lingering fears or concerns---- if a doppler will make you feel better, by all means get one!
do remember that you're supposed to have a prescription to rent a doppler and I hear there are big fines if anyone were to find out you rented w/o one.
 

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if you feel like you should have one, i'd prolly get it. ive never heard about the fines/script needed for a doppler. i had one with my last pg bc i had m/c's in the past and it reassured me throughout the pg. the company has you sign a waiver.
 

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Well, I am looking into UC with my next one (not pregnant yet). But, I will have a doppler. The midiwife at my attempted homebirth listened maybe 2 or 3 times in 12 hours, and literally only for 3 seconds to hear it, did not count it. If she would have counted it, she would have known he was in stress and a severe mec baby earlier, and he wouldnt have nearly died and spent 3 weeks in the NICU


So, I will get one. Mec is NOT something to mess around with. I want to know if something is going on, and reading heart tones isnt hard, you just need to know what to look for.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by lightinmyhands View Post
isn't continuous fetal monitoring cause a lot of unnecessary c-sec? and I'm just thinking out loud here, but if you saw on your doppler that your baby was in distress (provided you would be able to know that when what everyone has been saying is right, interpreting that is an art and most docs don't even have it down)---if it was really in distress, say a cord wrapped tight around the neck, and you're at home--- could you get to a hospital in time? what kind of fetal distress wouldn't need to be dealt with immediately?

Anyhow, that's just me thinking out loud. food for thought. I'm not going to have a doppler, but I'm going to be very sparsely equipped. People were having babies for many many many years before birth supplies. And last I heard, fetal monitoring was up for debate as to weather it really was beneficial or just wound up leading to unnecessary c-sec?. However, UC is about your comfort. You don't want any lingering fears or concerns---- if a doppler will make you feel better, by all means get one!
do remember that you're supposed to have a prescription to rent a doppler and I hear there are big fines if anyone were to find out you rented w/o one.
Yes and No. Usually a hospital won't do continuous fetal monitoring unless mom has had narcotics or an epidural, or they found some problem with the heartrate. I would say most of the time it's the laboring on her back, after getting the drugs, and the addition of pitocin, that usually necessitates the c/s, not the monitoring itself.

But it is true that doctors look for problems when there are no problems, and the c/s rate did skyrocket with the invention of the monitor (of course, wasn't it also invented around the time epidurals became popular?).

I think there's a difference between checking yourself periodically (or having your hubby, friend, whoever do it) and being stuck on the big scary hospital monitor all the time.

Not saying you *have to* use a doppler to UC. And the whole interpreting the results...I doubt it's that hard to figure out how fast the heart is beating, it's just counting. Most of us know what a normal heartrate is and what would be considered distress. The whole "there may not be time to get to the hospital" thing is also something they use to say homebirth is unsafe, statistically, it's generally not a factor unless you live REALLY FAR from the hospital. If you're within 15-20 minutes or so, that's generally considered fine.
 

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Heart tones should stay between 100-180 beats per minute. Slowing heart rate during a contraction is normal. 80-100 beats per minute for longer than a few minutes is a 'non-reassuring pattern.' Above 180 off and on for more than a few minutes is likely to indicate fetal distress.

In my humble opinion, this is your child we're talking about (and mine). There is no way I'd take the chance of relying strictly on intuition, as strong as I feel mine is. It's the life of our children that we're talking about, and if intermittent monitoring is just as effective as continuous, why NOT use it? I have a doppler, use it sometimes to check on babe when she's having a sleepy day, and plan to use it in labor.

Research fetal heart tones and when to worry about them. The world health organization is a good start, as are the mothering.com archives.

Good luck!



Oh, and you *don't* need a prescription. At least, not that I've ever heard of. My OB knows that I have one and she didn't prescribe it, and has never said a word about it.
 
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Just wanted to clarify that continuous monitoring is not something you would do in a UC or homebirth. When you monitor continually you put a belt on. Using a dobbler you can monitor for a minute or two if you want a status of babys heartbeat. The studies made compare continous monitoring with occasionally listening to heartbeat - in hospital that would be maybe once every 15-45 minutes. And yes - those studies dont show better outcome with continous monitoring over occasional monitoring. I dont know of any studies comparing occasional monitoring with no monitoring.
At home you can use your dobbler as much or as little as you like. In a UC I guess most would only use it if they have some kind of worry - thats what I did anyway.
 

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Quote:
In my humble opinion, this is your child we're talking about (and mine). There is no way I'd take the chance of relying strictly on intuition, as strong as I feel mine is. It's the life of our children that we're talking about
(written in a friendly tone!) I am feeling a bit accused of being irresponsible with my childs life. 5 babies later a Doppler has never proved to be useful for my situations. I am sure it would in some situations. My point was that I can't plan for every miniscule "what if".

Of course it is the lives of our children, as our own. I can't speak on behalf of anyone else but I did not float through pregnancy and birth solely on intuition. Most of us here have/do research and make preparations and decisions based on those as well as our previous briths. I do however, think that women generally underestimate themselves and what they will know/how they will handle labor. We are all deprogramming ourselves from the lies we've been told about "needing" to do certain things in labor. I am not in the convinced that a Doppler would help ME in labor during a UC. I know my labors and their patterns, esp since I have been birthing at home.

For me personally, I find it important to be guarded about what interventions I allow in my pregnancy and birth, for I have found that they can cloud my better judgement and can sometimes cause me to turn more fearful and trust things more than I should (like machines).

Quote:
if intermittent monitoring is just as effective as continuous, why NOT use it?
With this logic, you could just as easily say, then why NOT do cervical checks, why NOT prenatal visits, why NOT a midwife.

My tone is not argumentative here, but don't want the OP to be frightened into having to have a Doppler for fear of being irresponsible. My point is that all of these choices are personal based on our own experience/personality/comfort level, etc. I understand that some will feel better with the use of a Doppler, but its not fair to say that b/c someone is not using one that they have not considered things well.

Also, our plans for what we will do in labor can often change once we are.


So, use one if you feel you should, don't if you dont.


Have a wonderful day!
 

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I don't think that comparison works for everything.

I've never heard of anyone getting a lifesaving cervical check, not the same for prenatal care (done yourself or by a midwife) or using a doppler. Also, a doppler is non invasive. Some aspects of prenatal care with a provider -and definitely cervical checks- *are* invasive and do carry risks. Psychological aside, there really are not risks to using a doppler afaik.

And there's a whole camp of people who will tell you why using a midwife is best. Not saying it is here, becuase I support every woman's decision to UC and UP, I'm just saying lots of people will tell you why.

As we've seen in other threads, lots of people have thoughts on what every woman should or shouldn't do when having a UC or UP. It can be a hot button to push.
 

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of course, after consistent fetal monitoring showed up in hospitals, C-section rates skyrocketed, but not necessarily with the number of stillbirths lowering. I seriously think this should be a case by case basis and something that no one should feel judged for doing if they want to or not doing if they don't!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by samuel1:8 View Post
(written in a friendly tone!) I am feeling a bit accused of being irresponsible with my childs life. 5 babies later a Doppler has never proved to be useful for my situations. I am sure it would in some situations. My point was that I can't plan for every miniscule "what if".


Sorry about sounding snarky! I wasn't trying to diss anybody - I guess since I've never UC'd before I'm being really cautious on this, my first UC baby. My son was born in a hospital with 'minimal interventions.' Since you've had 5 babies, and know your body, I'd say you're on the right track. And you are also right about doppler's possibly causing worry - I guess I'd rather be wrong about interpreting the doppler and have to transfer than NOT monitor, trust my intuition and end up having a problem.

Of course, my local hospital has a 16% CS rate and midwives deliver most babies there. The midwives there are pretty chill with natural childbirth, too, so I guess I'm not freaking out about whether or not I'll have to transfer - too much, anyway. Of course I'd rather have the baby with just me and DP there, but my ultimate goal is a safe babe - as I'm sure yours is too sam1:8 - we just go about things differently is all
and our differences are what make life fun!
 
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