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Fetal monitoring occurs throughout a pregnancy, and it involves doctors and nurses checking on the baby’s vital signs, especially the heart rate. It is common in every pregnancy, and may occur often in high-risk pregnancies. External fetal monitoring involves placing a device on the mother’s stomach to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. By listening the doctors can look for patterns that demonstrate the fetus is healthy and developing normally.
Internal fetal monitoring is more invasive and involves placing an electrode device on the fetus directly. The device enters the mother’s cervix and attaches to the fetus’s scalp. Although this sounds harmful, it is more accurate in determining if the baby’s heart rate is stable and healthy. An internal monitor is only done after a women’s has a ruptured her membrane. The risks associated are few and include slight bruising to the baby’s scalp and some minor discomfort for the mother.
Do you have questions about fetal monitoring or about a specific situation involving birth injury? Contact one of our attorneys anytime.