Pregnancy is an uncertain time. Things could go wrong at any point until mother and child are both healthy and fully recovered from the birth. Labor and delivery is a particularly dangerous process for the unborn child and the mother trying to bring it into the world.
Either the mother or the child could suffer life-altering injuries or even die during delivery. Risks to the mom may be obvious, as she may express herself clearly when she feels like something has gone wrong. She will also present obvious symptoms like bleeding or losing consciousness.
The same isn’t true for an unborn child. To ensure the safety of both mother and child, a physician overseeing a birth should monitor the child as well as the mother.
Fetal monitoring can prevent the worst birth injuries
Lots of things can go wrong during labor. An infant could turn and get the umbilical cord wrapped around their neck. The placenta could start to detach from the uterus. Many other issues could also stress the unborn child.
Fetal monitoring, either using an internal monitor or an external one, helps track the baby’s heart rate and ensure that medical staff at the birth facility know if something goes wrong. When a baby’s heart rate speeds up or drops rapidly, those issues could both be warning signs of infant distress that requires a C-section or other intervention.
Medical staff should begin monitoring once active labor starts and continue to check not only the report from the device but also its placement and function regularly to ensure nothing goes wrong. Inadequate monitoring during delivery could be a form of negligent medical malpractice that leads to completely preventable birth injuries.