Continuous EFM

    By: Lamaze International on Apr 24, 2012

    Continuous EFM

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    Continuous Electronic Fetal Monitoring

    From The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence.

    What to Know:

    • Routine continuous EFM provides no benefit for babies and increases the risk of instrumental (e.g., use of forceps) vaginal deliveries and cesarean for mothers.
    • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that for healthy, low-risk women (almost all women), fetal heart rate be monitored with a fetoscope or Doppler every 30 minutes in active labor and every 15 minutes during pushing.
    • The World Heath Organization (WHO) encourages intermittent manual listening and warns that EFM is often used inappropriately.

    You May Need Continuous EFM if:

    • Your labor is induced or speeded up with Pitocin.
    • You have an epidural.
    • Your baby’s heart rate changes.
    • You or your baby has a health problem.

    How to Avoid Unnecessary Use:

    • Remember that routine use of continuous EFM doesn’t make labor safer for your baby.
    • Find a caregiver who doesn’t use continuous EFM routinely.
    • Talk to your caregiver about intermittent fetal monitoring.
    • Stay at home as long as possible in labor.

    How to Keep Labor as Normal as Possible if You Need EFM:

    • Remember that your body knows how to protect your baby during labor.
    • Continue to move as much as possible, both in and out of bed.
    • Ask staff to turn off the monitor’s sound.
    • Ask staff to turn the monitor away from you and your helpers so it doesn’t distract you.
    • Ask for a telemetry monitor (that is, one that's not attached by wires to the machine).
    • Ask to be disconnected from the monitor for regular trips to the toilet.
    • Remind your helpers that you are the one in labor, not the machine.

    Read more about medical interventions:

    Released: April 24, 2012, 6:57 pm | Updated: April 30, 2015, 1:49 pm
    Keywords: Birth Day | EFM | Electronic Fetal Monitoring

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