The first few hours you spend in the labor and delivery department are hectic. You will have little to no alone time as medical staff prepares you for delivery with what seems like an endless stream of questions, wellness checks, and labor monitoring equipment.

Labor monitoring allows medical personnel to keep a close eye on baby and mom during labor. The most common monitoring devices include:

  • Doptone: Used to hear the baby's heartbeat with a handheld device.
  • EFM: That monitor strap on your belly that shows contractions and the fetal heartbeat.
  • IFM: Monitor attached to baby's head as it moves down the birth canal.

There are three types of monitoring — continuous, intermittent and none. Your hospital's protocol and individual case details will determine the type used in your case.