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Fetal monitoring is imperative during labor and delivery

A woman who's in labor at a hospital or birth center will likely undergo some sort of monitoring to ensure that she and the baby are both faring well during the process. Some midwives will also perform monitoring during labor in a home birth. There are many things that the attending medical professionals must watch for when they're monitoring the mother and baby.

There are a few key points that must be checked when during the monitoring process. The reaction of the baby's heart rate to the mother's contractions is one of the most important. If the heart rate dips too much and can't recover, an emergency delivery, such as a Cesarean section, is necessary.

Not all monitoring happens constantly. In the past, women were attached to monitors with leads that attached to bands around her midsection. One tracks the strength and duration of the contractions. The other tracks the baby's heart rate.

There are some women who need internal monitoring. This is when an electrode is attached to the baby's scalp to monitor the heart rate. The woman will still have the external contraction monitor on her abdomen.

Some women undergo intermittent monitoring now. In this case, the baby's heart rate is checked with a handheld Doppler device. A small circular device helps to monitor contractions.

When the attending medical personnel misses a key signal during monitoring, there's a chance that the mother and baby may suffer grave harm. These situations can lead to claims of medical malpractice if they result in a birth injury. The lawsuit seeks to obtain compensation for the financial damages stemming from the incident. This may include the cost of medical care now and into the future that's necessary to address the injury. Other damages might also be possible.

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