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Fetal monitoring is critical during labor and delivery

A woman who is in labor in a birthing center or hospital needs fetal monitoring during the process. Some women don't mind doing this because it is a way they can ensure the baby is doing well. Others might not like having to be hooked up to machines.

Each facility has its own guidelines about what type of monitoring patients need, but these all must focus on the health of the mother and the baby. There are two primary schedules for monitoring – continuous or intermittent. Each is only appropriate for specific cases, so women must communicate with the labor and delivery team to determine which is necessary.

What's the difference between schedules?

A woman who has a low-risk pregnancy may be able to undergo intermittent monitoring until she is in active labor. Most women are checked every 30 minutes during the first phase of labor and then every 15 minutes in the second stage. She might then need to go on continuous monitoring.

If she has a high-risk pregnancy or if there are signs that something is amiss with the baby, intermittent monitoring likely isn't appropriate. Doctors and nurses will need continuous monitoring to ensure that the baby is tolerating the labor well.

Why is monitoring important?

Babies will sometimes have problems when they are going through labor. This may necessitate a surgical delivery if the situation points to the baby being in distress. The baby's heartbeat is one of the primary signals that medical professionals have prior to the baby's birth that can let them know if there is a problem.

Failing to deliver a baby who is in distress can lead to the death of the baby. Sometimes, the mother's life might be in danger, which could happen with a uterine rupture. Without keeping a close eye on the baby during labor, the medical team is unable to make proper determinations about what course of action is appropriate.

When monitoring isn't handled appropriately and the mother or baby suffer harm, a birth injury claim might be in order. This can help to cover the medical bills and other life care expenses necessary because of the injury. If either one passed away, the compensation may pay for the final expenses. These cases aren't easy to undertake, so claimants should opt to work with someone who is familiar with these situations.

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