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Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Stages of labour

Health Professionals normally describe as being in three stages. The first stage is normally the longest and can last from one hour to twenty hours.

Both you and your baby will be checked and monitored regularly during labour to make sure that you are both doing ok.

How your baby will be monitored

Measuring your baby’s heart rate is a way of assessing your baby’s health throughout the labour and birth

Different ways of monitoring

A Doppler is a small portable machine using ultrasound for monitoring at intervals. A small transmitter-receiver is placed on your abdomen to pick up the heartbeat.

CTG Cardio toco graph - CTG uses ultrasound waves to transmit your baby’s heart rate to a machine via a transducer held against your abdomen. Alternatively a small electrode can be attached to your baby’s scalp and this picks up and transmits the heartbeat. The heartbeat usually appears in a digital form on the screen and a record is traced onto graph paper which can be printed out or viewed on the screen. 

Last Modified: Tuesday, 21 March 2017