Monitoring baby’s heartbeat – Saving lives at birth
Childbirth is an emotional and physiological process for the mother and newborn as well. Annually, in India, 1.02 million fresh stillbirths (FSB) occur, and intrapartum-related neonatal deaths account for almost 40% of 2.6 million neonatal deaths. Some of the major factors contributing are lack of supplies, manpower, and quality of care provided at the facility centres
World Health Organization (WHO) recommends intermittent auscultation (IA) as the standard for fetal (Baby) heart rate (FHR) monitoring. FHR monitoring helps determine fetal complications and helps plan for relevant interventions (such as caesarean section or assisted vaginal birth) Early detection of fetuses at risk can help prevent many of the early stillborn and asphyxia deaths.
USAID Vriddhi project has introduced an evidence based technological solution to monitor the fetal heart rate – called Moyo (in partnership with Laerdal Global Health), for ensuring good quality of care The project has introduced the device at 3 levels of public health facilities (CHC FRU, District Hospital and Government Medical College) across the states of Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Odisha for testing the usability and how the device addresses challenges at the facility centers.
Staff Nurse Poonam at Chain Rai Women’s Hospital at Haridwar, shares her experience after introducing the device “Moyo has been very helpful during the time of labour to detect the fetal (baby’s) heart rate. It is easy to use device, it also assures the mother regarding her baby’s wellbeing. Earlier it was a cumbersome process to constantly monitor using Doppler and stethoscope, but Moyo has made the monitoring easy. We tie the Moyo device around the mother’s belly, which allows the mother to walk around as it is light weight to carry, and moreover she can hear her baby’s heartbeat.”
A mother shares that she was anxious to know about her baby’s condition. But on hearing the heartbeat of the baby, she felt relaxed. The staff nurse adds further to the mother’s experience, “After hearing the fetal heart rate, the mother started cooperating with the procedure of labour. The device has enabled the mother and health workers to take an informed decision during labor.”