intermittent auscultation

A First-time Mom Shares her Quest for Evidence-Based Fetal Monitoring

July 18, 2012 by Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN
© Copyright Evidence Based Birth. Please see disclaimer and terms of use.
In my last post, I discussed the evidence for fetal monitoring. To sum up what I found, evidence clearly shows that intermittent auscultation (listening to the baby’s heart rate while feeling the mom’s contractions with your hand) is the best way to monitor baby during labor. However, only 3% of women in the U.S. receive this care. The other 91% receive electronic fetal monitoring, which increases the risk of Cesarean delivery. Many women are led to believe they have no options in regard to electronic fetal monitoring. However, this is one of the least helpful interventions for birthing that […]

Evidence-Based Fetal Monitoring

July 17, 2012 by Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN
© Copyright Evidence Based Birth. Please see disclaimer and terms of use.

I’ve written before about the lack of evidence for continuous electronic fetal monitoring, but recently I felt the need to write further on this issue. I feel strongly that our maternity care in the U.S. has headed down the wrong path with fetal monitoring. Yes, I believe that it is beneficial to monitor a baby’s heart rate during labor. But the majority of American women receive the wrong type of fetal monitoring for their situation. They receive something called continuous electronic monitoring instead of intermittent auscultation. 

But what’s the big deal? Well, first of all, everybody else in the world tends to […]

Q & A: Continuous electronic fetal monitoring

April 30, 2012 by Rebecca Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN
© Copyright Evidence Based Birth. Please see disclaimer and terms of use.

**For an updated article on continuous electronic fetal monitoring, please view this article instead, “Evidence-Based Fetal Monitoring”

Healthcare providers in hospital birth settings often recommend continuous electronic fetal monitoring. In recent years, a wireless (mobile or telemetry) continuous fetal monitoring unit has come on the market. This has led providers telling women that they can wear the wireless monitor– and because the women are mobile– it is called “intermittent” monitoring. However, in reality, this is still continuous monitoring. So that leads us to the question…

Question: Is continuous electronic fetal monitoring necessary?

Answer: No. Intermittent auscultation with a handheld Doppler or fetoscope […]