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Heart decelerations during fetal monitoring

(6 Posts)
diddygirl Sun 09-Oct-11 11:11:09

Hi everyone
I had reduced fetal movement so went to be monitored yesterday at the hospital. Typically the baby started moving as soon as I got there. They wired me up and I was on the monitor for about 40 mins. The (triage) midwife said she was concerned about the number of decelerations in the baby's heartbeat and I had to go and have a walk around and return for further monitoring.
This time I had to go on a ward and was put on the machine for about 25mins. This midwife said she'd looked at the trace done previously and thought it appeared normal for my gestation (31 weeks). The new reading was the same as the first one and she showed it to her colleagues who were in agreement that the baby was active and the decelerations were possibly due to movement or the baby clutching the cord.
I am happy with her explanation and came away feeling reassured. However, I am now over thinking things and worrying about potential heart problems.
Has anyone else been through anything similar? Was there a positive outcome or not?
I wish I wasn't such a worrier.

cravingcake Sun 09-Oct-11 11:46:10

Not had this but have been in for monitoring around similar stage and noticed how much the heart rate fluctuates, I was slightly concerned but all the midwives said it was normal. Perhaps you could phone them and just say that you were in yesterday for monitoring and ask them to explain it you again why the heart rate was slow, that may help until someone comes along who has experienced this.

HillyMcGrew Sun 09-Oct-11 12:25:49

Afternoon diddygirl. If it is any reassurance at all, I had exactly this at my last (32) week appointment. MW put the heart monitor on my tummy, reading came back 115, so she left it there for a few minutes (well, she chased the baby about a bit too) and it picked up to about 160. She said to me that it was probably due to the baby clutching at the umbilical cord, as you were advised, and not to worry about it. I am now obviously unnerved because I don't want to think that anything negative will happen to my baby, but in this I realise that I have to trust my MW, who has seen it all and much worse before.

If your MW was in any way concerned, she would have kept you in for a period of prolonged monitoring. I haven't had the same 40 minutes of monitoring, or even 25 as you had, and on the one hand I'd've liked to have been, but on the other hand it means I haven't heard the fluctuations in foetal heartrate that you did (I am a worrier, this may have worried me more).

I even toyed with the idea of getting one of those home foetal monitor devices, but the stress I would be under if I couldn't find a heartbeat at all has put me off. My baby is kicking as and when it feels the need, sometimes all day, sometimes hardly at all, and I just have to keep reassuring myself that it is doing what it will and I will have to wait for my 36 week appointment before hearing from it again.

At 31 weeks gestation, your baby's reduced movement may be symptomatic of a reduced space to swim about in rather than a heart abnormality (which hopefully would have been picked up on the 20 week scan). Mine is definitely more up for elbowing me these days rather than somersaulting (I will be 33 weeks tomorrow), and prefers gently stretching it's toes under my ribcage rather than sudden kicking. Sometimes, what with all the braxton hicks contractions I have been having, I am relieved to feel any movement at all, at other times I have to remind myself how much I love to feel it moving as it merrily jabs me in the same spot for the umpteenth time in an hour.

Sorry this is such a long response, and I hope that you feel better knowing you're not the only one. x

phlossie Sun 09-Oct-11 14:27:43

The decelerations can be to do with the umbilical cord, and also can happen in labour when you're contracting (i'm not suggesting you're in labour or anywhere near...). I don't think they have anything to do with heart problems. Baby's heartrate will vary on a trace according to what it's up to.
Your baby's movements are your best indicator of its welfare. If you're worried, see a midwife - they don't feel they're having their time wasted, they're happy to check you over if you're worried.

diddygirl Sun 09-Oct-11 14:35:58

Thank you both for your replies. Yes I suppose they would want to keep checking if they thought anything was untoward. I need to try and put it out of my head or I'll drive myself batty, or I will cause my baby unnecessary stress.
Thank you again - good luck with your pregnancies. x

diddygirl Sun 09-Oct-11 14:42:23

Thank you phlossie, yes I'll keep monitoring movement and get chaecked out if concerned. Another thought that keeps creeping into my head is what if the cord is wrapped around its neck....oh I really do have to stop doing this...
Roll on the birth!! x

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