Electronic fetal heart rate monitoring (EFM) is aimed at assessing fetal wellbeing during pregnancy and labor. Although, the vast majority of fetuses cope well during labor, the journey through the birth canal is stressful and fetuses mount a 'stress response' during labor.

Fetal monitoring during labor should identify the fetuses at risk of hypoxic damage, so that appropriate the intervention could be instituted to optimise perinatal outcome. Such an approach is likely to prevent neurological injury, including cerebal palsy. Indications for electronic fetal heart rate monitoring in labor.



Maternal Problems

Induced labor Diabetes
Prolonged rupture of membrances (>24 hrs) Antepartum hemorrhage (possible placental abruption)
Previous cesarean section (possible scar dehiscence) Pre-eclampsia (placental insufficiency)
Post-term pregnancy (>42 weeks)    

Fetal Problems

Prematurity Oligohydramnios(possible cord compression / uteroplacental insufficiency)
Fetal growth restriction Abnormal doppler artery velocimetry
Multiple pregnancy    

Intrapartum risk factors

Vaginal bleeding in labor Oxytocin augmentation
Epidural analgesia