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I am just learning about natural child birth and starting to work out my birth plan in my head at this point. I read a number of plans/posts where people did not want fetal monitoring or internal exams and wondered why? I can see the fetal monitoring where they put that thing up inside you, but are they talking about the one that listens to the baby's heartbeat with a strap on the belly? I would think this helps assure the baby is doing well. And, I thought internal exams were necessary so the midwife knew when it was time to push.
Like I said, I am very new at looking at birth options, so please educate me! Thanks!
Internal exams increase your risk of infection, especially if your water has broken. Most people aren't totally against them (for example, when your feel the need to push), but in a hospital they tend to like to do them every time they walk into a room.
Continuous fetal monitoring has been studied extensively, and the studies have shown that there has been 0% improvement in outcomes since CFM was implemented, but a huge increase in the c-section rate. Intermittent monitering is just as effective at catching problems. The problem with CFM (unless your hospital has the wireless units, which are aresome), is that you are tied to the bed and can't utilize other laboring positions or the shower for pain relief.
Thanks! I guess I was thinking of fetal monitoring as something that was done intermittently, not continuously, unless there were problems. I think I am making a lot of assumptions right now because I have no experience. It never occured to me that they would keep someone on a monitor the entire time unless there were problems! I have SO much to learn!
Depends on the hospital. You should be able to insist on intermittent monitoring, but even that can be annoying because they generally want you on it for 20 minutes every hour or so. It's really hard to get comfortable and deal with contractions when you're stuck in bed. And having to disrupt whatever you are doing to get through labor to get on the monitor is really irritating.
Kellisa, Mama to:
Courtney, Nola, Kya, and Whitney
Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, training to be an IBCLC!
And then there is internal fetal monitoring, where they actually connect the monitor to the baby's skull by drilling into it. No thanks!!!
We have a subforum here you should check out called natural childbirth information and articles of interest. There is a lot of great info. I haven't gotten a chance to cover birth plans yet or types of interventions, so I apologize for that. The book " the thinking womens guide to a better birth" goes over everything you need to know in that regard and your local library may even have it. We all highly recommend that book.