When uterine contractions are too intense and too frequent, fetal distress may occur.
Illustrated above is a fetal monitor strip showing what may be the early signs of fetal distress. Draw your attention to the bottom portion. Those wave-like lines are the mother’s recorded uterine contractions. And, as you can see in this strip, the uterine contractions appear to be quite intense; but more importantly, they occur more often than every two minutes.
You’ll remember from Part One, contractions occurring more often than every 2 minutes or sooner may cause fetal distress. The upper tracing is recording of the baby’s heart. The variation in the baby’s heart rate is extreme (120 to 150 beats per minute) signaling probable fetal stress if not possible fetal distress.
Simply put, the baby isn’t liking these frequent – one after another, almost on top of each other – contractions, which alerts nurses, midwives and doctors to evaluate and intervene appropriately to achieve our goal of a healthy, happy baby!
The full-length YouTube video on the entire second segment: Fetal Monitoring: Uterine Contractions can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0S4ueUbujok