Each year Shore Medical Center’s Maternity Department helps an estimated 1,200 babies make their grand entrance into the world. And for each one of those precious deliveries, both baby and mother alike are monitored closely with the help of a fetal monitor, from the time they enter the hospital to the moment the baby is delivered. Recent advances in fetal monitoring technology have proven to provide women and their babies with an even better labor and birth experience and outcome. While Shore’s current fetal monitors are effective, the maternity team is eager to take advantage of these new technologies in fetal monitoring. To help with this, Shore is launching a $100,000 fundraising campaign, “Campaign for Exceptional Births,” to cover the cost of purchasing ten of new fetal monitors, and seeks the support of the community in reaching its goal. Shore is launching the campaign with a fundraising event, “Dinner and a Dream,” featuring a performance by the Atlantic City Ballet on May 10 at Greate Bay Country Club.
From the moment a mother-to-be enters the hospital to the moment her baby is born, she is connected to a fetal monitor. Fetal monitors consist of two straps and sensors attached to a machine, which measures a baby’s heart rate as well as the mother’s uterine contractions. Together, these measurements tell the labor and delivery team important information about the well-being of the baby, including whether or not there are signs of possible distress. From these readings we work closely with the obstetrician to determine if any intervention is needed.
New fetal monitors have flatter, more sensitive sensors that will allow mothers delivering at Shore Medical Center to have greater mobility during labor, while still accurately measuring heart rate and contractions. For a laboring woman, unrestricted movement can help labor progress. While being effectively monitored, she may be able to use a bathtub or shower, bounce on a birthing ball, and move her body in ways that decrease pain, without worrying if the monitor is still capturing the most accurate information. Studies show that movement during labor can also help shorten the duration of labor, decrease the chances the mother will need an epidural or a C-section, and ultimately lead to a more satisfying birth experience for the mother, and a healthy baby. Not only do these fetal monitors improve the mother’s mobility and decrease risk of C-sections, they also improve the efficacy of monitoring for mothers who are overweight.
To learn more about the “Campaign for Exceptional Births”, make a donation or to purchase tickets to “Dinner and a Dream”, visit www.givetoshore.org or call Doreen Gordon at 609-653-3800.