What is a fetal monitor?
A fetal monitor is an electronic device used during pregnancy and labor that tracks the health of a fetus. Fetal monitors most often check heart rate.
Healthcare providers can use fetal monitors either externally on the pregnant individual’s belly or internally on the fetus’s head in utero.
Why are fetal monitors important to healthcare?
Fetal monitors are important because they screen and alert healthcare providers of potential issues occurring with a fetus. If the fetal monitor finds abnormal activity, this information can inform a provider’s care strategy. For example, if a fetal monitor detects an irregular heartbeat during labor, the physician may opt for a C-section.