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Internal Monitoring


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  #1  
July 14th, 2009, 11:05 AM
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I know a lot of people are against internal fetal monitoring. My understanding is because you then have to stay in bed, your water has to be broken, it increases the risk of infection, and it's kind of creepy to think about them screwing it into your baby's head.

So I guess I'm wondering how many people refuse an internal monitor when the alternative is a c-section because of heart decelerations? I ask this because with my last birth, my water was already broken when the monitors started showing my son's heart rate dropping with every contraction. A c-section wasn't even mentioned to me, though, and they put an internal monitor in. Is it standard procedure to go from external monitoring to internal before whisking the mom off for a c-section?
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  #2  
July 14th, 2009, 11:39 AM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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As a woman who has had a c-section, I absolutely would agree to internal monitoring before c-section. The internal monitor increases the risk of infection, but teh c-section has even more risks, including infection.

Sometimes the baby is showing decels, not because they can't tolerate the labor, but because with the contraction teh external monitor is not making good contact, so it looks like the baby's heart rate is dropping when really it is not. In that case an internal monitor is better.

I had an internal monitor with Evie, the doctor put it in without my consent. But, with it I had more freedom. Before that I was stuck in the bed because every time I moved the external monitor would slip out of position. So with the internal, I couldn't move far, but I could stand next to my bed and change positions a lot easier. I don't 'count' her birth as natuarl because it had quite a few interventions, but I did it without drugs, so I do count it...lol.
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  #3  
July 14th, 2009, 01:44 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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I guess I don't know as much about it as someone with experience, but it just sounds horrific to me. What long term effects does it have on the baby, does it leave a scar, how long does it take to heal? Does it effect the immediate bonding time with mommy and daddy?
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  #4  
July 14th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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It's a very fine wire that screws into the baby's head. My son had a bruise on his head, presumably from the monitor (or the application of it), but no scars, scabs, or other marks. I think they took it out at the pushing stage, I don't quite remember, but it was out before his head and shoulders were delivered. Because it was removed before I had him in my arms, I don't think it affected immediate bonding time. But it's hard to say, because he was whisked away from me pretty quickly since he wasn't breathing.

I remember specifically thinking that it was an intervention that I in no way wanted. But I'm convinced that it spared me a c-section. The external monitor showed heart rate decelerations with each contraction, but the internal monitor showed that my son was just fine. With babies that have to rotate during labor (which I think was the problem with my son, as he was posterior) and monitors that don't stay in place, an internal one is more accurate.

I guess I was just wondering how common an intervention it is, and how many women are given it as an option before having to have an emergency c-section?
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  #5  
July 14th, 2009, 02:09 PM
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I would do one if it would avoid or delay a csection
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  #6  
July 14th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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Courtney had one. But it was only on for a few minutes. I was fully dilated and they lost her HB. So they broke my water, put on the monitor, and I pushed her out all within about 10 minutes. She had a little scab on her head for a few days, but that was it. She had so much hair you couldn't even see it.

I don't really think it was necessary, but I understand why they wanted to do it, not knowing how long pushing would last and not being able to pick up her heartbeat. I trusted my midwife and knew she wouldn't ask to do something that she didn't feel was needed.
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  #7  
July 14th, 2009, 03:10 PM
lttle_one's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I would do it to try and avoid a c-section.
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  #8  
July 14th, 2009, 04:06 PM
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If my baby had decels that I felt were potentially dangerous I would be super glad to have a IFM. Cesareams and technology are grossley overused of couse, but they still save lives.

I know plenty about what types of decels are more of a concern, and hpefully durring labor I'd be able to source that knowledge, or at least ask the right qestions!

If decels are very late, or sever or not recovering- then they prob willplace an IFM, and still prep you for a section. That way if things progress poorly more they will really know and rush it. But that would be a RARE thing to happen in general.
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  #9  
July 14th, 2009, 04:55 PM
BoobyDutyAgainJen's Avatar Proud Mom & Birth Mom
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I had one placed with my birth daughter and she definitely had a scab on her head for days and blood on her hat. I was not happy about that but if the choice came between c-section and the IFM I would have to choose the IFM obviously.
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  #10  
July 14th, 2009, 05:42 PM
moon~maiden's Avatar Cheryl~ birth truster
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yeah, maybe it's not quite as bad as I had heard. I was told it was SCREWED into their head and it gave me bad visions. You learn something new everyday!
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  #11  
July 14th, 2009, 05:56 PM
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It is screwed into their head, but with a thin coil wire, not a thick screw like object. It's still kind of creepy to think about!
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  #12  
July 14th, 2009, 07:44 PM
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They had to put one on my son because they couldn't get a reading with the external monitor. He was fine but it left big scab that is now a small dent on the side of his head, about the size of a fingernail. I'm sure once his hair fully grows in you wont be able to see it. They didn't ask my consent but they knew I did not want a c-section. I saw the doctor twisting the wires before he put it in. A little creepy.
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  #13  
July 15th, 2009, 07:19 AM
monica8's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Aww yeah, it freaks me out too. I just think it would hurt their heads... maybe since they are softer its not as bad.
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  #14  
July 15th, 2009, 03:37 PM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I am not sure how much it actually hurts if it is applied correctly. I was a bit strange as a child and would take a pin and put it just under the skin and it didn't hurt. I imagine that the monitor would be similar to that.
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  #15  
July 15th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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on the machine you can "see" the baby react to it with a jump in HR, so I'm pretty sure they can feel it. But I imagine it is like being pricked with a tiny pin/wire, which it is.
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  #16  
July 15th, 2009, 07:43 PM
NutMeg76's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I guess maybe like getting an IV then, it pricks for a minute and then doesn't hurt. That isn't too bad, and yes it is uncomfortable for baby. But a moment of discomfort to prevent a c-section? Yup I would do it, because i think it could be potentially more damaging for both mommy and baby to end in a surgical birth.
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  #17  
July 16th, 2009, 03:42 PM
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The wire is very small and it curls (kind of like those arm cover pins on a couch--lol). I have played with one and did a little screw into the top of my head to see what it felt like (shhhh don't tell my old hospital! LOL). Any way it feels like a little mosquito bite---you notice it right at first and when its moved-but otherwise you don't notice it. (kind of like an acupuncture needle). If put in properly there shouldn't be a bruise or cut. I would say a bug bite that you scratched would be the closest description of what mark it leaves. I would take one before a c/s also! But routine use of them is ridiculous. Also since those are still machines reading it I guess I'm still old school I would trust a doppler checking heart rate and then a clock with providers hand on my stomach to time contraction more so!
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  #18  
July 16th, 2009, 06:13 PM
DoulaMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Yep! And they never check the machines at the hospitals I doula at..... which stinks for moms!!! I counted one day (practcing before I was proficient at 5 second counts for assisting) and the machine was consistantly off by 10-15 bpm..... not something I'd prefer to trust over a rational, intelligent care provider.
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  #19  
July 20th, 2009, 09:21 AM
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With my last labor my son was op and they were having trouble getting a 10 or 20 minute strip showing his heart rate using the external monitor. We were doing all these positions to get him to move so he would shift position and they'd loose his heart rate from the monitor. The nurse was having to come into my room repeatedly to reposition the external monitor. That was when the resident started talking to the nurse at my bed side about putting in an external monitor. They were not talking to me at all but I heard them so I interupted their conversation and told them I would not consent to an internal monitor unless absolutely necessary. They did not try to convince me to get it - I think they knew it was just for the nurse's convenience at that point.
I don't like the idea of my baby having a wire screwed into his scalp - a baby is under enough stress being born, that can't be fun for them. Also, I don't want the wires hanging out of me when I'm trying to labor. However, I would consent to one if the external monitor showed decelerations during contractions or they were really worried about the baby.
(By the way, I also don't consent to constant external monitoring. I've allowed one 10 or 20 minute strip each hour I'm in labor at the hospital. The main reason is that the external monitor that measures contractions digs into my belly when my belly hardens during a contraction. To me it hurts and extra pain for a mom trying for NCB is not fun.)
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