Topography is a test used during pregnancy or during childbirth to record the number of spontaneous uterine contractions and their intensity and thus know the fetus’s heart rate. It also reports the quality of the uterus distension between two contractions. This relationship between contractions and the fetal heartbeat is because the baby responds to each antepartum contraction by accelerating its heart rate.
If you are pregnant and want to know more about this procedure, at FastlyHealwe, explain what it is and when the topography is performed to clarify your doubts about it.
What is topography?
Without any prior preparation, the pregnant woman must lie down to have electrodes, and pressure sensors, placed on her abdomen. These electrodes make it possible to collect electrical signals from the muscles of the mother’s uterus.
A stressful test-type topography would be performed if the examination was due to the suspicion of an alteration in the baby’s well-being. Unlike the first, it will be necessary for the mother to take certain drugs that cause uterine contractions before the test. In this way, the contractions are specifically elicited to obtain and record the fetal heartbeat response.
If a water rupture occurs or a case where there are registration difficulties, a particular sensor can be placed inside the uterus, which is why we will call it internal topography.
Topography during pregnancy
The topography examination can be performed both in childbirth and during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, tomograms lasting about 4 hours are performed to monitor the well-being of the fetus and the presence of contractions. They are carried out from the last trimester, and depending on the course of the pregnancy; the controls will begin in the previous weeks of the gestation:
- Starting at 40 weeks, if the pregnancy runs a regular course and there are still no signs of labor.
- Already in week 27, if it is a risky pregnancy. Never before the third trimester, since it is necessary that the fetus has fully developed and is precisely in the stage of total growth and weight gain.
The mother mustn’t go to perform the test on an empty stomach so that the fetus’s activity is favored. If there are no signs of fetal movement within 20 minutes, the fetus can be manually stimulated, or the pregnant mother can use glucose ingestion.
Topography at the time of delivery
During childbirth, it is used systematically and makes it possible to detect whether there are an excessive or insufficient number of contractions so that, if necessary, it can react immediately with the injection of the appropriate medications to the mother. Thus the capacity of the placenta for oxygenation of the fetus during labor is assessed.
How to interpret the fetal heart rate
When we talk about controlling the baby’s heart rhythm, it is essential to know what parameters we use to assess whether it is within normality or, if otherwise, it is a risk case. To interpret a tocography, we use:
- Baseline . Indicates the average heart rate. In stable periods, without contraction or movement, it should understand between 110 and 160 beats. If it is below, we will speak of bradycardia, while if it exceeds 160 seconds, it will be a tachycardia. Both bradycardia and tachycardia deserve a doctor’s review and control.
- Acceleration. It is a sign of well-being if your heart rate increases about 15 beats above baseline over more than 10 seconds. Many accelerations are produced by movements, the presence of which is positive. The absence or diminution of activities of the fetus could indicate saving of energy by suffering.
- Variability . It is the parameter that signals an irregularity in the heart rate.
- Decelerations. Slow heart rate, heart rate. When they occur, they can involve risks such as compression of the fetal head.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Topography: what it is and when it is done, we recommend that you enter our Pregnancy and baby health category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.