Electronic Fetal Monitoring is when equipment is used to measure your contraction and your baby’s heart rate, this is also called cardiotocography. There are two types of electronic fetal monitoring (EFM), internal and external.
External Fetal Monitoring
External fetal monitoring is where the hospital staff monitors your baby’s heart rate and reaction to contractions through external monitors. The standard monitor set up includes two ultrasound transducers that are held in place on your belly with straps. These transducers are connected to the monitor machines by cables that can be unplugged if you need to move. One transducer, called a tocodynamometer, monitors the frequency and length of your contractions while the other monitors your baby’s heart rate. Some hospitals have a mobile system, where the transducer cables connect to a small box with a strap allowing you or your partner to carry it which enables you to walk around while being monitored. The small box transmits your information to the nurse’s monitor. Some hospitals have a newer wireless EFM system. These systems have transducers that are strapped or taped to your belly and wirelessly send the information to your monitors - these systems are also waterproof which can be good if you want to labor in the shower or tub. Not all hospitals have the mobile or wireless monitors and if they do they only have a limited number, make sure to ask your hospital at the tour…Read More