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Electronic fetal monitoring gives parents ease of mind

Learn more about electronic fetal monitoring

Electronic fetal monitoring has been around for quite some time, and the results have been vital to the health and care of infants if problems arise.

"We may see changes in baby's heart rate that indicates those problems, and we're able to intervene and hopefully obtain a more positive outcome as far as baby and mom go," says Ellen DeJong-Pedersen, Registered Nurse with Mercy Medical Center.

Electronic fetal monitoring measures the frequency and duration of contractions of the mother, as well as the heart tones of the baby, by using Velcro straps around a mother's belly.

These straps have sensors that record the data, and that data is then produced on a chart.

"Not only do we have the computer side of things, we always still have the paper trail," says DeJong-Pedersen.

The machine offers continuous monitoring of mom and baby, making sure everything is okay during the birthing process, putting new parents at ease.

"They really seem to enjoy it, and it gives them an extra layer of insurance, and it helps them relax a little more," says DeJong-Pedersen.

At Mercy Medical Center, recent advances in technology allow for doctors and nurses to monitor the baby from other computers in the hospital, something they have not been able to do before.

"I think it gives the parents a little bit more time to have their time alone to process through the labor," says DeJong-Pedersen. "That way we're not having to be bedside every second or every minute that they're in labor. It gives that that privacy aspect."

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