How to Use a Fetal Heart Rate Monitor to Protect your Health and the Health of your Baby

A fetal heart rate monitor is an important tool which is used during pregnancy to monitor the well-being of both mother and child. Also important is going for several prenatal tests/checkups to monitor the health of the baby and mother. Doing this helps early detection of anomalies so that appropriate actions can be taken before the baby is born. One way is by using a fetal heart rate monitor which measures the rhythm and heart rate of the fetus. This is done towards the end of the last trimester and during labor.

A healthy baby in the womb has an average heart rate between 110 and 160 BPM and this changes as the baby responds to conditions in the womb. Insufficient oxygen or an underlying blood or heart disease may cause irregular heartbeat and/or abnormal heart rate. Fetal heart rate monitors are extremely sensitive pieces of equipment because the heart of a fetus is quite small and so using a heart rate monitor can be an effective way to monitor the health of a baby in the uterus.
One way to measure a baby’s heart rate is the…

External fetal heart rate monitors

The external method of using a fetal heart rate monitor is done using an ultrasonic device to pick up the sound of your baby’s heartbeat and record it. An ultrasound probe or transducer is attached to your tummy, this way it picks up your baby’s heart rate and sends the data to a display. It could also be used to check the heart rate of the baby during labor.

You may be asking,

Why is fetal heart rate monitoring important?

Well, I am very certain that you take your baby’s health very seriously and wouldn’t want to anything to go wrong. Doing fetal heart rate monitoring doesn’t automatically mean something is wrong with your baby. It just helps you and your healthcare provider keep tabs on how your baby is doing. For people with high-risk pregnancies such as those with high blood pressure, diabetes or those whose babies aren’t growing normally, fetal heart rate monitoring is especially important.

How does an external fetal heart rate monitor work?

Well, the process is a pretty simple one generally speaking, and doesn’t take too much time. Lie on your back and be as comfortable as you can. Use a clear gel on your belly, after which gently press the fetal heart rate monitor against your abdomen and move it around until the heartbeat of the fetus is found. This information will be sent to a display. It's best to have your health care provider perform this kind of exam, however, hand-held home fetal heart rate monitors are available to be purchased online or in specialty shops in your local area which you can use in the comfort of your home.