Simple Fetal Heartbeat Monitoring Is Still The Best Method To Reduce Unnecessary Cesarean Sections
Checking the baby’s heart during labor with a simple stethoscope is still the best way to monitor its well-being while significantly reducing the rate of c-sections according to a review of 33 studies.
The study was published in the CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) led by researchers at the University of Warwick shows that simple fetal heartbeat monitoring is still the best method for determining whether a baby is in distress during delivery and whether cesarean delivery is needed http://www.
Cesarean delivery is the most common surgical procedure worldwide, performed to expedite birth and avoid neonatal complications. In 1985, the World Heath Organization proclaimed that the ideal cesarean rate would be 10 to 15%. Since then, caesarean sections have become increasingly common in both developed and developing countries!
You should enquire if your maternity center offers intermittent fetal monitoring which also offers the added perk of letting you move around more which can help alleviate the discomfort of labor. Intermittent fetal heart monitoring using a stethoscope or fetoscope (portable doppler) can even be done with the laboring mother in the tub.
In the USA, the cesarean rate is at 32% which means that almost one woman out of three ends-up in a cesarean!
Furthermore, this study concludes that more invasive methods such as internal monitoring which includes inserting a needle through the baby’s scalp is NOT superior to intermittent monitoring with either a stethoscope or a doppler.
Researchers from the United Kingdom and Spain reviewed 33 studies that included more than 118,000 women, mainly from high-income countries as well as India and Tanzania, to evaluate the effectiveness of different monitoring methods in improving outcomes for mothers and babies and reducing the number of cesarean deliveries.
They found that all methods had similar outcomes for babies, but only intermittent auscultation reduced the risk of cesarean deliveries without increased risk to babies’ health. The researchers estimate that intermittent auscultation led to an average 30% reduction in emergency cesareans compared to other methods.
Another great way to reduce your risk of having a cesarean section si to be well-prepared with such programs as Hypno-Baby.com
Their analysis suggests that all additional methods introduced to improve the accuracy of electronic fetal heart monitoring have failed to reduce the risk of adverse neonatal or maternal outcomes beyond what intermittent auscultation achieved 50 years ago, and this may have contributed to the increased incidence of unnecessary emergency cesarean deliveries,” write the authors.
The authors urge investment in developing novel techniques to monitor fetuses to make delivery safer for mothers and their babies.
Listening to the fetal heart rate using a stethoscope — intermittent auscultation — has been used for years to assess the fetal state and whether the baby is experiencing distress that might require a cesarean delivery. Other monitoring techniques have become common in recent years, including echocardiograms and blood tests.
“Despite extensive investment in clinical research, the overall effectiveness of such methods in improving maternal and neonatal outcomes remains debatable as stillbirth rates have plateaued worldwide, while cesarean delivery rates continue to rise,” writes Dr. Bassel Al Wattar, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, United Kingdom, with coauthors.
Checking the fetal pulse employing a stethoscope remains the simplest method for determining whether a baby is in distress during delivery, consistent with a review published online.
In short: Bassel H. Al Wattar, Ph.D., from the University of Warwick within the uk , and colleagues conducted a scientific
literature review to spot randomized trials evaluating any intrapartum fetal surveillance method.
Based on 33 identified studies (118,863 patients), the researchers found that intermittent auscultation (IA) reduced the
danger for emergency cesarean deliveries versus other sorts of surveillance (risk ratios, 0.83, 0.71, 0.77, 0.75, and
0.81, for IA versus cardiotocography [CTG], CTG with fetal scalp pH analysis [FBS], CTG with fetal scalp lactate, CTG
with fetal pulse oximetry [FPO], and CTG with FBS and FPO, respectively; risk ratio for computerized cardiotocography
with FBS versus IA, 1.21). Results were similar for reduction in cesarean deliveries for foetal distress . However, there
was no reduction in risk noted for neonatal acidemia, neonatal unit admissions, Apgar scores, or perinatal death for any
of the evaluated methods.
“Our analysis suggests that each one additional methods introduced to enhance the accuracy of electronic fetal heart
monitoring did not reduce the occurrence of adverse neonatal or maternal outcomes beyond what intermittent auscultation achieved 50 years ago, and this might have contributed to the increased incidence of unnecessary emergency cesarean deliveries,”
Bottom line, less interventions often equal a less traumatic birth for you and your baby.