Fetal Monitors

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Fetal monitors are key to parents' ability to monitor their unborn baby's heartbeat. Parents wants to be assured of their child's health and well-being throughout the entire pregnancy. Moreover, they want to be able to do so as often as they want, without the hassle and delay of having to make a special appointment with the doctor.

Life Before Fetal Monitors

Years ago, this technology was unthinkable. Parents experienced much more anxiety about their baby's condition than nowadays because technology such as fetal monitors simply wasn't available. They were forced to wait the duration of the pregnancy and hope for the best. Moreover, if there were problems in the unborn child's health status, parents were unable to know about it. The lack of technology kept them, as well as the doctor, in the dark about the baby's condition.

The lack of knowledge often resulted in very unfortunate results. Prenatal health problems that are nowadays easily preventable were left unattended. This often resulted in harm to the unborn baby's health. In the worst cases, it meant permanent damage to the fetus, long-term health and/or mental problems, and, in the worst cases, death of the child.

In the past decades, however, amazing advancements have been made in the field of prenatal monitoring. Monitoring devices can be used to detect and even record the baby's heartbeat with absolutely no physical effect on the baby or mother. The baby isn't even aware of the presence of the monitor. Thus parents can be assured of the non-invasive nature of heart monitors.

About Fetal Monitors and Ultrasound

Fetal monitors work using ultrasound technology. Regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ultrasound has been used for years to monitor fetal growth and health status without any harmful effects on the fetus. Basically, ultrasound is an imaging technology that uses high frequency sound waves to map a picture of the fetus in the womb. When the sound waves reach the baby, they get echoed back to the ultrasound machine.

Ultrasound equipment sends and receives millions of pulses, as well as their echoes, each second. Eventually, these pulses and echoes form a two-dimensional image of the fetus. Ultrasound is an accurate source of information as to the position, movements, and overall condition of the unborn child. This technology can also yield vital clues as to any difficulties the developing baby may be experiencing in the womb.

More Possibilities of Fetal Monitors

Ultrasound is also used to accurately detect and monitor fetal heartbeats. Technology has evolved to the point where any parent can use home ultrasound fetal monitors to detect their unborn child's heartbeat as early as 10 to 12 weeks into the pregnancy. Amazingly, some fetal monitors even have recording capabilities.

Remember the days when parents used to record their babies' first words? Well, now it's possible to record baby's first heartbeats. In conjunction with today's computer technology, parents have the option of keeping a log of their unborn baby's heartbeats on their home PC.


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