The electronic fetal monitor (EFM)
- What is it?
This device is typically used to record and report the baby's heartbeat during labor via a beeping sound.
- The EFM promotes stress not fetal health
Exhaustive reviews of the EFM have shown absolutely no improved outcome for the baby (in terms of preventing death) while increasing psychological stress for the laboring mother and risk of an "emergency c-section" and episiotomy.
- Opt for intermittent readings
Rather than let the EFM create undue stress and anxiety, opt for infrequent monitoring via a Doppler device or simply unhook yourself from the EFM after listening to your baby's heart rate for a minute and get back to laboring on your feet.
- Bottom line
EFMs are unnecessarily stressful to the mother and provide no support for the baby's well-being during labor.