CTG Monitoring in Pregnancy

My doctor said I need to get CTG monitoring once a week. I didn’t really know what it was before she mentioned it. So here is my experience so maybe you know what to expect. CTG stands for Cardiotocography. It is also referred to as Electronic Fetal Monitoring EFM and NonStress Test or NST  It is a type of monitoring that takes place at the hospital. In my hospital, it takes place in the birth unit.  I buzzed into the unit and told them my name and why I was there, and then I had a seat until they were ready for me.  

Once I was in they took me back to a room with a hospital bed and put a pulsometer on my finger to measure my pulse.  They strapped two straps around my belly. One to measure uterine contractions and one to measure the baby's heartbeat.  I was also given a button to push every time I felt the baby move.  I was there for probably 20 minutes before they came back and told me everything looks good.  It is a pretty easy procedure, all I had to do was lay on a bed for a bit and relax and scroll my phone.  I was hoping to crochet and work on a baby blanket during the monitoring since I didn't know what to expect, but I didn’t get to do that because of the button I needed to push to monitor baby's movements.  

I will now be doing this monitoring on a weekly basis because of gestational diabetes.  If you ever feel reduced movements and go in to be monitored it is the same type of monitoring that they do. 

What to bring to your CTG monitoring. 

Because CTG can take such a variable amount of time I suggest you bring things with you to distract you, but things that you don't mind just putting away suddenly.  Because I am pregnant during COVID-19 I cannot bring anyone with me to the appointments.  I do recommend bringing your phone and an external battery pack.  I find that I spend most of my appointments on my phone.  I mostly message friends or play phone games.  I play games through the MistPlay app. MistPlay is an app that gives you points for downloading other apps, mostly games, and playing them.  You can redeem the points for gift cards.  I've been using it for a while and enjoy it.  It will never make me rich, but it gives a bit of extra money for the time I would waste anyways. I can then use that money on a visa gift card or Amazon gift card and use it to help pay for nappies, or groceries, or something fun.  I have a fairly short attention span for phone games so for me it is perfect.  I can download games and play them until I lose interest and then I have a small list of new games to choose from.  The only problem is that it relies heavily on people watching the ads and doing microtransactions. Well, they assume they are making more money off of you, than you are from them. So be mindful that the entire app industry right now is trying to entice you to make microtransactions and especially the subscriptions.   Full disclosure, you also get points when people sign up using your referral link. So if you are interested, I would love for you to use my link, but as I said, I don't plan on paying the rent with this.  

If you are a reader, bring a book with you, or have one downloaded to your phone.  Bringing headphones is also a great idea so you can listen to music, or watch a show on your phone.  My hospital does have a TV in the room and always offers me the remote, but I've never enjoyed watching just parts of random shows.  

Water bottle! I don't know about anyone else, but pregnancy has made me so thirsty! I drink a lot of water at the moment.  The midwives do offer to get me some water, but they completely forgot the first time and I'm sure they are really busy, so I just bring my own with me. 

Snacks! Along the same lines I would bring some snacks, the midwives offer, but I normally decline. Except if my glucose levels are low, then I don't have a choice. But it is not normally gestational diabetes-friendly snacks that they offer. 

Things I would not bring with me. Anything that requires the use of your hands.  I have to push a button every time baby moves so unfortunately my plan of working on my crocheting didn't work out very well. 

The shorter appointments are fine, but if it runs long because baby is being uncooperative it is a good idea to have something to distract you.  

I had a bit of an adventure finding the correct location for my monitoring. I never got a hospital tour due to COVID 19 so it was interesting finding the correct place.  I could have searched harder on the website for the directions, I found them once I got home, but instead, I asked someone at the hospital who was directing traffic.  Unfortunately, she didn't know and sent me to the mother and baby ward instead.  At least the person there was nice and walked me across the entire hospital just about to the correct location.

 It was a good experience to go ahead and have it done so now I know what to expect.  Hopefully, this helps you know what to expect before you have CGT monitoring.  


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