Monday, June 17, 2013

Ask Us Anything About Pregnancy: IV's in Labor, Baby Not Moving

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Q. Are IV's required for all admitted patients in labor? Why can't I just drink some water? If it's in case of emergencies, isn't your staff trained in putting an IV in quite quickly?

A. Mary D'Angelo, Director of Maternal Child Services at Sisters of Charity Hospital, Responds:
IV's are generally started on all laboring patients for a variety of reasons.
With planning and communication with the physician, we are able to just put in a saline trap for access when needed. Laboring patients are able to have ice chips and popsicles, but these are not necessarily enough for adequate hydration.
If a woman goes through labor without pitocin or anesthesia of any kind, a saline trap is probably enough, but only with physician agreement.
It is true that OB nurses can start an IV quickly in the event of an emergency, but it is more difficult if the patient is dehydrated, and pregnant women dehydrate quickly related to the increase in blood volume the carry with the pregnancy.

Q. I'm 18 weeks pregnant, and for 2 weeks, when I lay down, I feel my baby move like crazy. I haven't felt her in 24 hours. I'm scared.

Francine Kane, RN, Responds:
I can tell that you are concerned, and I am so glad that you are so aware of your baby's activity. That is so important!

Babies do have periods of sleep/wake time, just as we do. Many moms do not perceive movement until they are a little further along in their pregnancy, so your little one must really be a "mover."

Some of the things that you can try:
  • Drink a beverage than has some glucose (sugar), such as orange or apple juice
  • Lay on your side for a little while (about 30 minutes) and pay attention to smaller movements such as flutters
If you still do not feel that your baby is moving, then by all means, call your healthcare provider to see what he/she would like you to do next. They may have you come into the office for a fetal heart rate check with a doppler or an ultrasound.

Either way, taking a very pro-active approach is the best way to handle the nervousness you may feel when the baby acts in a way that is uncharacteristic for them.

If you have a question about your health, click here to ask our experts.

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