The process of pregnancy always carries many risks for the mother and fetus. To minimize unexplained stillbirths, obstetricians recommend that you should count your pregnancy daily.
Labor is an exciting, rewarding experience for expectant parents. It's the grand finale for nine months of hard work. Without a doubt, the mother will experience pain and stress during labor. In most cases, the baby tolerates labor quite well. However with every delivery there's an element of risk that cannot be ignored. This chance of risk is why all babies should be monitored while the mother is in labor.
An electronic fetal monitor measures the response of the baby's heartbeat to the contractions of the uterus. There are several different types of monitors. They all monitor the same signals and will give a reading of this relationship (effect of labor contractions on baby's heartbeat). The labor and delivery nurse or a technician may be able to pick up on signs of fetal stress and distress through the variations found on the readings. Some monitors are equipped to sound an alarm if such a variation occurs. There are two types of fetal monitoring, external or internal monitoring. External monitoring is the most common. Internal monitoring is used when more accurate readings are required. If and when suspicion of fetal distress shows up in external monitoring, internal monitoring would be used.
There are four main types of monitoring equipment:
The doppler is a handheld ultrasound device that will transmit the baby's heart rate into speakers or earplugs. Often doctors or midwives will use this instrument in their office. The beauty of using a Doppler during labor is that it can be used intermittently with very little hassle for hospital staff or the laboring mother. The mother also can maintain mobility with the Doppler if it helps to manage pain or is helping labor to progress since it's portable.
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The external electronic fetal monitor is a two-belt ultrasound device that is strapped around the mother's belly. This method provides a beat to beat view of the baby's heart tones in relationship to the mother's contractions. This device can be used continually or intermittently. This method does use ultrasound, and there can be a margin of mechanical error. These errors may occur because the device is getting jarred during a mother's movements or the sensor looses contact with the body. There is a loss of mobility (when in use), which may slow labor.
The internal fetal monitor is more accurate than the external monitor as it does not rely on ultrasound. It can provide continuous monitoring for the high risk mother. In order to use this type of monitoring the mother's water must be broken and she must be dilated between 2-3 centimeters. This monitor relies on an electrode being placed just below the skin on the scalp of the baby during labor. When a baby is born that has received internal monitoring there is usually a small cut on the scalp where the electrode was placed. This is commonly referred to as a "stork bite." It heals with little effort in a few days. It's a very small price to pay for the added benefit of knowing exactly how your little one was fairing during a long or particularly hard labor.
Telemetry monitoring is the newest type of monitoring available. This device uses radio waves from a transmitter on the mother's thigh to transmit the baby's heartbeats to the nurses' station. Mothers can maintain mobility and have the benefit of constant monitoring. This technology may not be available at all hospitals. If this sounds like the type of monitoring that you would prefer, make sure to check to see if it's available at your hospital before delivery.
The type of fetal monitoring you receive will depend greatly on your choice of labor management. If you are high risk, are induced or choose an epidural you will likely need continuous monitoring. Study the different types of monitoring and talk with your doctor or midwife. Be aware of what's going on with the standards of monitoring in the medical community in your area.
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Why should mothers count gestational movements every day?
According to the World Health Organization, in 2009, there were about 2.6 million fetuses died from 28 weeks (3rd quarter of pregnancy) onwards. It means that there was one death in 45 live births. The death rate is highest in South Asia and Sub- Saharan Africa (1 fetal death in 33 live births) and is lowest in Western Europe and North America.
Even with the most advanced surveys and assessments available today, 25% of all stillbirths cannot determine. 75% can identify the most common cause in the order of obstetric complications, placental abnormalities, congenital disabilities, infections, umbilical cord abnormalities, hypertension disorders and other conditions of the mother.
To reduce unexplained maternal abortion in high and low-risk mothers, obstetricians around the world recommend that mothers count their pregnancy movements each day, starting at week 28. Usually, the mother can feel the fetus moving noticeably at an average of 22 weeks for the first child and 16 weeks for the second child. And these “donkey kicks” is how the fetus informs the pregnant mother that “I am okay.”
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How to count fetus movements every day?
Choosing a time to count fetal movements
Every day, mom should monitor the fetus at the same time. And the best time should be after dinner when you are lying down and relax. You should focus on counting the fetus movement within 1 hour and recording the number of changes. An evening tonight is when the fetus is most active.
The number of fetus movements is usually highest at around 28-32 weeks and then decreases slightly by the time of birth. At birth preparation, the average number of fetus movements in one hour was 31.
Time counting method for ten fetus movements
Counting time for ten fetus movements is the most popular method today. The average time to score ten fetal movements is very variable, which can range from 10 to 21 minutes, according to different research groups. 90% of women rely on ten moves within 25 minutes at 28-36 weeks.
And the most important thing is if the number of fetus movements is less than ten within 2 hours. It is a sign of danger, and you should go to the hospital as soon as possible.
The reduction of the fetal movements can occur in the following situations:
- Too much or too little amniotic fluid
- Overdue pregnancy or intrauterine growth retardation
- Multiple pregnancies
- A maternal condition, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
In this case, the doctor will evaluate the situation by monitoring the profile of the fetus.
So, to be a mother is your instinct. But it also very scientific aspects that you will need to study and obtain as much knowledge as possible. That is why we want to give you as much experience as possible. And we hope that it will help you to have a safe and comfortable pregnancy.
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