The midwife will monitor your baby’s heartbeat throughout your labour.
midwife is watching for any changes in the heartbeat that may suggest your
baby is becoming distressed or tired. The simplest method of monitoring is by
using a pinard stethoscope. This is a trumpet-shaped stethoscope that helps
the midwife to hear your baby’s heartbeat through your tummy.
A doppler is a
small hand-held ultrasound machine that looks like a microphone. It is placed
on your tummy and allows you, your birth partner and midwife to listen to the
If there are any concerns about your baby’s
heartbeat or if your pregnancy or labour
falls into a ‘high risk’ category, continuous
monitoring is recommended. This is done
using a CTG machine. Two pads are placed
on your tummy: one records the contractions
and the other records the baby’s heartbeat.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get a good
printout of the heartbeat this way.
midwife might suggest putting a ‘clip’ on your
baby’s head to improve the recording of your
baby’s heartbeat. This involves securing a thin
curved wire to the skin of your baby’s scalp
during a vaginal examination. Some women
are concerned that they can’t move around
if they are attached to the CTG machine.
midwife will help you to find comfortable
upright positions and there are pictures on
the delivery room walls suggesting positions
that you might find comfortable.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Staying healthy during pregnancy
How your baby develops and your body responds
Care options for pregnant women
Prepare for your hospital stay