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Guideline – Listening to heart sounds 

Continuous CTG monitoring on admission to the hospital should no longer be routine

Punctual listening to heart tones via the Pinard ear trumpet or Doppler sonography is seen as advantageous. Prerequisite: one-to-one care by a midwife who can ensure by her constant presence and punctual listening what otherwise the technology does.

One-to-one care - where does it exist and where not? One-to-one care is currently rarely possible in a doctor-led delivery room due to a shortage of midwives. However, it is possible in outpatient deliveries in the clinic, possibly in a midwife delivery room and certainly in a birth center or at home.

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Studies show disadvantages for continuous CTG. CTG is no longer recommended as a priority because of the unfavorable subsequent effects on the entire birth process, including movement restrictions. Instead, telemetry should be offered more frequently. With telemetry, monitoring data is transmitted by radio. A woman can move around and go for a walk, for example. However, she may only walk along prescribed areas because of possible radio holes.

What parents should know: If artificial labor medications are administered, they must be monitored with continuous CTG. Not every child tolerates the labor medications. The baby's heartbeat is monitored as an indicator of the baby's condition. It has been shown that there are frequent misjudgments about the baby's condition, which often results in a cesarean section.

What parents can expect:
Children who are ready to give birth need enough time to work their way through the birth itinery. Contractions are triggered by hormones. At the same time, the body's own hormones are produced to relieve pain. Like the mother, a baby needs breaks in between.

Source: Birth, current guideline 2020-2025. Advice for parents going to clinic for birth. 
Ed. GreenBirth e.V.
Printed in German available.

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