Author: Dr Peter England – Obstetrician
There are many ways to assess your baby’s wellbeing during pregnancy. One of the commonest of these is the use of a foetal monitoring machine to record the foetal heart rate (FHR). These machines are usually referred to by obstetricians and midwives as CTG’s. A CTG is a Cardiotocography.
What happens during a CTG in Pregnancy?
The procedure is simple, non-invasive and completely safe. It involves putting two monitors over your pregnant abdomen and securing them comfortably with two elastic straps. I have the CTG equipment in my practice and can quickly and easily arrange for you to use this when required.
The first monitor records your baby’s heart rate continuously using doppler ultrasound (sonar) to detect the heart beat. It’s called a cardiometer.
The second monitor detects pressure changes of the uterus, recording when a contraction occurs. This is called a tocometer. This enables us to observe the response of your baby’s FHR to your contractions.
The combination of the two sensor recordings are printed continuously on-line and on paper to produce the CTG. The midwives and doctors caring for you can then look at the pattern of the FHR over time and decide if your baby is feeling well, or if you need further assessment.
When would I need to have a CTG?
Cardiotocography or CTG is useful during your pregnancy for a number of reasons, but mainly, if you’re pregnant and you report that your baby’s foetal movements have reduced. For my patients, I have CTG facilities in my rooms and it can be very comforting for you to hear and see how active your baby is. If your baby’s movements have decreased, I will also be able to monitor this.
Your obstetrician will also request a CTG in many other conditions. For example, some of the most common reasons would be:
- High Blood Pressure
- Diabetes (Gestational Diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2)
- Unexpected vaginal bleeding
- Slow growth of your baby
CTG monitoring is also undertaken at various stages of labour, sometimes intermittently, other times continuously. CTG is a helpful tool for assisting in making sure your baby is coping with labour, and changes in the FHR pattern can, on occasion, indicate when a baby may be tiring and need delivery.
Please feel free to discuss monitoring with me during your pregnancy and antenatal visits. The CTG monitoring system in the practice provides my patients with access to the monitor right outside my door so I can view the results instantly.
What does a CTG in Pregnancy sound like?
Please call the rooms if your baby has had reduced foetal movement and may need CTG Cardiotocography.
This article has been written by Dr Peter England – Expert Obstetrician and Gynaecologist. Read more about Dr Peter England
For more information about pregnancy, you can download my free A-Z of Pregnancy Book.
If you’re looking for more information about pregnancy and birth, there are many articles on our Women’s Health Information page, including posts covering a range of gynaecology issues.
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This article is written and published by Dr Peter England, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
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