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Fetal heart monitoring measures a baby's (fetus's) heart rate
during pregnancy or labor and delivery. These measurements can help health
professionals check a fetus's general condition and identify early signs of
During labor and delivery, the fetal heart rate is closely watched
along with the mother's uterine contractions (using a tocometer). This helps the doctor or nurse see how the
baby is responding and whether any treatments, such as the use of medicines,
are needed to help speed up delivery.
Two types of monitoring—external or internal—can be done.
Current as of:
March 16, 2017
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology & Femi Olatunbosun, MB, FRCSC - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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