CTG, ECG of the unborn baby

Sometimes there is reason to make a CTG registration during a pregnancy. CTG stands for Cardio Toco Grafie. The heartbeat of the unborn baby is monitored with a CTG. This makes it possible to determine the condition of the child. You can ask the doctor to turn the monitor towards you, so that you can also look at the baby’s heart rate values yourself. With a CTG it is also possible to see whether the mother is already contracting.

What is a CTG?

A CTG is an ECG of an unborn baby. With a CTG registration, the baby’s heart rate is monitored for at least half an hour. Furthermore, it is checked whether there is any contraction activity. The information obtained from this can be used to determine the condition of your child.

Why make a CTG?

There are various reasons for making a CTG registration.

  • If you are more than 10 days late, a CTG is often made to determine the child’s condition. If it appears to be deteriorating, labor may need to be induced.
  • If the obstetrician detects an abnormal or poorly audible heartbeat, they will usually opt to make an ECG.
  • If you have been dilated for a long time, or if the waters have broken for a while.
  • When labor is induced.
  • If it turns out that the baby’s growth is lagging behind.
  • When the mother suffers from high blood pressure. (negative pressure of at least 90).
  • If the mother notices that the baby has started to move less.


How does it work?

With a CTG examination, the baby’s heart rate and any contractions are examined. This is usually done externally. You will receive 2 bands around your waist, which record the data. These tires have contact points. The contact point of one strap is positioned so that the baby’s heartbeat can be heard. Where this is placed depends on how the child is lying. The other band, intended to monitor contractions, is placed at the top of the abdomen, at the level of the top of the uterus.
When a CTG is made during childbirth, it is often done internally. An internal CTG often measures the baby’s heart rate and the mother’s contractions more accurately than an external measurement. An internal CTG can only be done if dilation has already occurred and the membranes have ruptured. During an internal CTG, a kind of screw is attached to the baby’s head. However, this screw is so small that the baby will not be affected by it.
A CTG examination takes at least half an hour. A good tip is to pee beforehand, as pregnant women often have to go to the toilet. You can also ask for some magazines so that you don’t get bored. You can also ask them to turn the monitor towards you, so that you can look at your child’s heart rate yourself.
The result of the CTG is almost always known immediately. This will always be assessed by a doctor, gynecologist or midwife. The results of the test depend largely on the phase of the pregnancy. Typically, a CTG examination can take place from 26 weeks of pregnancy. But when a CTG examination takes place during week 26, the results will have to look very different than, for example, during childbirth. Of course, every child is different! So one will definitely have a slightly higher or lower heart rate than the other.

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