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Friday, February 5, 2010


The baseline fetal heart rate is an important thing to look at. Two important parts of this are the rate and the variability. Rates above 160 are considered tachycardia. Two of the most common causes of tachycardia are a rise in mothers temperature and drugs taken.

A rise in moms temperature by one degree with increase baby's temperature by around 10 beats per min. Drugs that increase the fetal heart rate are scopalomine, atropine, phenothiazines, terbutaline, ritodrine, or epinephrine.

Other less common causes of tachycardia include fetal hyperthyroidism, fetal anemia, fetal heart failure, and fetal tachyarrhythmias, fetal infection.

Most of the time if an infant has tachycardia, there is no oxygenation problem. Especially if there are other reassuring heart patterns. An exception to this would be if the baby has been deprived of oxygen over a long period of time. Then the heart rate might increase in response to this. There is usually other signs of fetal distress along with this.

Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies, 5th ed. Gabbe et al.
Fanaroff and Martin's Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, 8th ed. Martin et al.

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Birth is a Journey: Does it have to be life changing?

  • One woman might have to climb on an overfilled boat, risking her life and nearly dying as she escapes over the ocean to come to this land. This experience could certainly be life altering. It may very well color the rest of her life, positively or negatively. (I overcame this amazing struggle and here I am triumphant! OR Holy crap, that was SO hard I don’t know if I can go on! By the way, neither response is “right”. No one would judge the woman with the 2nd response.)
  • One woman may buy an airplane ticket, sit on a comfortable 747 and fly to America with a nice smooth flight and landing. She is happy to be in America. Those welcoming her are glad she is here safe and sound. She may only travel by plane 2-4 times in her life, so it is pretty memorable. But the journey itself probably wouldn’t be life changing; it would simply be a journey.
  • One woman may learn to fly an ultra-light plane to lead a flock of geese into America teaching them to migrate. This experience could certainly be empowering and life altering.