How do you read a fetal monitor?

When you’re looking at the screen, the fetal heart rate is usually on the top and the contractions at the bottom. When the machine prints out graph paper, you’ll see the fetal heart rate to the left and the contractions to the right. Sometimes it’s easier to read printouts by looking at them sideways.

What do the numbers mean on a contraction monitor?

These are beats per minute (bpm), which are measured in increments of 10 with markings every 30 beats. The red indicator on the bottom tracing shows the strength of a contraction, measured in millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

What does electronic fetal monitoring show?

Electronic fetal monitoring is a procedure in which instruments are used to continuously record the heartbeat of the fetus and the contractions of the woman’s uterus during labor.

What is a good contraction number?

The intensity of Braxton Hicks contractions varies between approximately 5-25 mm Hg (a measure of pressure). For comparison, during true labor the intensity of a contraction is between 40-60 mm Hg in the beginning of the active phase.

What are normal contraction numbers?

Contractions in active labor generally last between 45 to 60 seconds, with three to five minutes of rest in between. In transition, when the cervix dilates from 7 to 10 centimeters, the pattern changes to where contractions last 60 to 90 seconds, with just 30 seconds to 2 minutes of rest between.

What fetal monitoring should be recommended?

Continuous electronic fetal monitoring is recommended by most professional organizations because a nonreassuring fetal heart rate pattern can be the first sign of uterine rupture.

When should you check fetal heartbeat?

That’s when a fetal pole, the first visible sign of a developing embryo, can sometimes be seen. But between 6 1/2 to 7 weeks after gestation, a heartbeat can be better assessed. That’s when your doctor may schedule your first abdominal or vaginal ultrasound to check for signs of a healthy, developing pregnancy.