FETAL MOVEMENT
F
HOW IT IS DONE
The most simple form of fetal heart
monitoring involves using a special
fetal stethoscope. Cardiotocography, a
more sophisticated electronic version,
is a procedure that produces a continu-
ous paper recording of the heartbeat
and a recording of the uterine contrac-
tions. The heartbeat is picked up either
externally by an
ultrasound
transducer
strapped to the mother’s abdomen or,
as an alternative during labour, inter-
nally by an electrode attached to the
baby’s scalp that passes through the
vagina and cervix. The mother’s uterine
contractions are measured and recorded
by an external pressure gauge strapped
to the mother’s abdomen, or by an
internal plastic tube inserted through
the vagina into the amniotic fluid.
fetal movement
Movements
made
by
a
developing
fetus in the uterus, which can usually
be detected by the mother from bet-
ween about the 16th and 20th weeks
of pregnancy Fetal movement at this
stage may feel like a gentle “flutter” to
the mother; later in pregnancy the
fetus
becomes
more
robust
in
its
movements and may kick as it moves
around in the
amniotic sac.
Some
fetuses are more active than others. In
late pregnancy, to monitor fetal well-
being, the number of movements may
be recorded on a “kick chart”.
fetishism
Reliance on special objects in order to
achieve
sexual
arousal. The
objects
need not have an obvious sexual mean-
ing; they may include shoes, rubber or
leather garments, and parts of the body
such as the feet or ears.
Fetishism
usually has
no
obvious
cause. According to psychoanalysts, the
origin may be a childhood
fixation
of
sexual interest upon some aspect of the
mother’s appearance. Treatment is neces-
sary only if the behaviour leads to distress
or is causing persistent criminal acts.
fetoscopy
A procedure for directly observing a
fetus inside the uterus using a feto-
scope, which is a type of
endoscope
(a
tubelike
viewing
instrument).
Feto-
scopy allows a close-up look at the fetus,
particularly the face, limbs, genitals, and
spine, and is used to diagnose various
congenital
abnormalities before birth.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE FETUS
By the
3 2
nd week of pregnancy, the internal
organs of the fetus are almost fully mature and
it is perfectly formed. In most cases, the fetus
has turned to lie head-down in the pelvis.
Fetus in sac
This MRI scan showsthe developing fetus head-down in
the mother’s uterus during the
36
th week of pregnancy.
Internal organs (such as the brain) are fully formed.
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