Accurately monitoring a human being has become easier over time as technological advances have made it possible to see heart rate, blood oxygen saturation and blood pressure with a single monitor and a few probes. Accurately monitoring a human being inside of another human being is another challenge altogether. Fetal monitor probe and transducers are designed to do just that.
Pregnant women, whether they are in labor or are simply being monitored, have the capacity to sit or lay still as the transducers are applied to the woman’s belly where the baby is most likely to be positioned. Nurses or medical assistants are then able to adjust the position and pressure with which the transducer is placed against the belly to get an accurate measurement of uterine contraction as well as fetal heart rate. The only problem is, babies move. What was once an accurate measurement of a fetus’ heart rate suddenly becomes only the echo as it changes position.
Since ultrasound technology is most effective when in contact with skin that is free from imperfections, a small amount of ultrasound gel is placed on the typical fetal monitor transducer then the unit is strapped to the belly with elastic and Velcro straps. Often cumbersome to readjust, transducers have long been the standard monitoring device in hospitals and clinics across the country. While it is possible to achieve an accurate measurement with a fetal monitor transducer, Doppler probe technology for fetal monitoring has begun to expand beyond traditional methods. These probes can be affixed to the skin using vacuum suction or a small amount of ultrasound gel in the unit’s stabilizer cup. This allows the probe to be repositioned by sliding it across the surface of the skin rather than using straps to hold the typical transducer in place.