At this point, a lot of the most commonly used technology is wireless. Your cell phone is wireless, your laptop is wireless, and the GPS in your car is wireless. The technology has become a standard for all things modern. Few successful professionals in the U.S. only use a phone attached to a wall or a heavy computer attached to a desk. When you arrive at the hospital for your delivery only to be hooked up to a thousand wires for fetal monitoring, you might be disappointed.

Fetal monitoring is necessary to the health and stabilization of your baby during labor. Doctors can monitor your contractions and also your baby's heart rate throughout the delivery process. Such monitoring is necessary to ensure your doctor’s awareness of any problems or complications before they become serious. However, you don’t have to be tethered to a machine the whole time. Instead, you can be monitored with telemetry. Telemetry is wireless, but just as effective as traditional fetal monitoring machines.

Studies show that there are multiple benefits to being monitored with telemetry as opposed to the traditional fetal monitoring machines of the past. First, women with the ability to shift around without the restriction of cables laying over them report feeling less pain during delivery. Additionally, many studies suggest that when you walk around and stay as active as possible at the beginning of your active labor, your labor will be shorter and less risky. Therefore, being monitored with telemetry makes for a more successful birth. Poor reception between the wearable device and monitor used to be an issue, but improved electronics and devices have eliminated that concern.

If you’re interested in the benefits of telemetry monitoring during your delivery, you should speak with your doctor about making a visit to the delivery rooms and touring the facility prior to labor. That way, you can find out whether or not the technology is available.

If the hospital you have chosen for your place of delivery does have the option for wireless fetal monitoring, you should request it. By freeing yourself from the cables and wires traditionally attached to fetal monitoring machines, you are setting yourself up for a better birth overall. You’ll be able to get up and move around before its time to start pushing, which will keep your body fresh for delivery and will make the labor process go by more quickly.

Source: MR Neuman et al: A Wireless Radiotelemetry System for Monitoring Fetal Heart Rate and Intrauterine Pressure During Labor and Delivery. Gynecological and Obstetric Investigation Volume 1 Issue 2 2012

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