II. Determining Fetal Heart Rate Baseline

  1. Auscultate and count FHR for 60 seconds
  2. Perform between contractions

III. Interpretation

  1. Normal baseline: 110 to 160 beats per minute
  2. Change in baseline occurs if persists >10 minutes

IV. Causes of change in baseline

  1. Premature fetus
  2. Maternal fever
  3. Maternal position
  4. Medications
  5. Fetal Hypoxia
    1. Baseline gradually increases and
    2. Decreased variability and
    3. FHR decelerations

V. References

  1. Bailey (2000) ALSO, E:1-13
  2. Gabbe (2002) Obstetrics, p. 395
  3. Rylander (2001) Clin Fam Pract 3(2):287-305 [PubMed]

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