In today’s talk we will discuss understanding fetal bradycardia and HIE, in the context of labor and delivery. Fetal bradycardia, for our discussion is when your baby’s heart rate baseline falls below 110 beats per minute. It is important for doctors and nurses to understand this condition, especially if there are other signs of concern present during labor and delivery.  

Fetal bradycardia can be displayed on the electronic fetal heart monitor. The condition can present alone, or it can present with non-reassuring findings.

What Is Fetal Bradycardia?

As stated previously, fetal bradycardia in our context is a fetal heart baseline below 110 beats per minute. There can be multiple causes of fetal bradycardia with some of them being the following:

  • Uterine Rupture
  • Placental Abruption
  • Prolapsed Umbilical Cord
  • Fetal Hemorrhage

Doctors can also use ultrasound technology to get a better overall picture of the baby’s situation if fetal bradycardia is detected early in labor and delivery. The ultrasound can help determine fetal movement, and amniotic fluid levels, among other things.

Understanding Fetal Bradycardia And HIE

When the underlying condition leading to fetal bradycardia is rooted in blood and oxygen reduction, the medical condition hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy is possible (HIE). The reason this is the case is because HIE is caused by a reduction of blood and oxygen, which can lead to a brain injury.

During labor and delivery doctors and nurses can monitor the wellbeing of the baby through the electronic fetal heart monitor. If the readings on the monitor become non reassuring, then interventional measures must be taken. Conservative measures can be done to help mom. For example, turning mom on her side, and giving oxygen, among other things. All these things can be done to help improve fetal well-being. However, if these measures are not improving fetal wellbeing, then an emergency C-section might be needed. Understanding fetal bradycardia and HIE can be helpful to parents looking for more information on these issues.

Thanks for reading from your friends at HIE Resource Place.