The Tao of Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring

The fetal heart-rate monitor/tocometer is a high-tech element of hospital birth that many argue has greatly increased C-sections with little evidence of improved outcomes. That said, for the practitioner of Oriental Medicine, it also provides a very useful extension of our own diagnostic methods. Reading the contraction monitor strip as the ‘pulse’ of the labor offers insight into the patient’s constitution, the position of the baby, and immediate feedback on treatment effects. Looking at monitor strips from 13 years of practice on the Labor and Delivery unit, practitioners will easily spot the familiar faces of Yin and Yang, Qi and Blood, and stagnation and deficiency in the contraction waves. Common pathologies will be shown, along with the visible effects of appropriate acupressure and acupuncture treatment. The class will also provide guidelines for reading the fetal heart component of the monitor strip, which are key in understanding hospital staff’s management of low- and high-risk cases. Handouts will include an easy-reference summary of the key contraction and heart monitor patterns, along with diagnostic and treatment guidelines.

Learning Objectives 

Acupuncturists taking this class can expect to:
• Clearly understand the components of a monitor tracing, their limitations, and signs that a given reading may not be accurate.
• See the basic Oriental Medicine patterns of stagnation and deficiency as they express in the contraction monitor readout.
• Integrate monitor findings into their own OM diagnostic methods and treatment planning.
• Identify Category 1, 2 and 3 fetal heart rate monitor tracings, and understand their associated standards of care.

IFS Lecture from:  May 25, 2017

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