The Trust that runs maternity services for Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and mid-Wales has taken delivery of 25 new CTG (Cardiotocography) machines, 15 of which have the option of wireless monitoring, allowing women to be mobile during labour.

The new CTG machines, which are used during pregnancy and labour to monitor the baby’s heartbeat, will be used in Delivery Suite, Antenatal and Postnatal Wards, Triage and the Day Assessment Unit at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH).

The wireless machines are located in areas where women are likely to need to be upright and mobile during labour while their baby/ies are being monitored. Whilst many women will only require intermittent monitoring during labour, for others it is recommended that the baby/ies’s heart rate is continuously monitored. This produces a visual picture for midwives of how the baby is responding to labour. SaTH is one of the only trusts in England to offer this level of wireless monitoring to its service users.

Annemarie Lawrence, Director of Midwifery said: “Wireless monitoring allows labouring women to remain upright, move around and to get into positions that feel comfortable to labour in. We know that being active during labour can reduce the experience of pain whilst also allowing gravity to play its role in helping the baby to descend.

“Our new wireless machines are waterproof which means that women on our Delivery Suite can use the pool or shower with the reassurance of having their baby(ies)’s heart rate(s) monitored. It also means that, should a woman need to be transferred to theatre during labour, we can move them without any break in fetal monitoring.

“The acquisition of these new machines means we can offer a better experience for women whose babies need to be continuously monitored.”

The benefit of the wireless CTG machines is already being felt across maternity services. Collette Williams, 36, from Oakengates, said: “I attended triage at 31 weeks pregnant before being admitted to the Antenatal Ward because my waters had broken. I was told I would need to have a caesarean to deliver my baby prematurely due to heartrate concerns.

“Because of SaTH’s new wireless CTG machine, I was able to visit the neonatal unit with my partner, before we went to theatre, to meet the team and see where our baby would be cared for after his arrival. This made us both feel safe and calm as we knew what to expect.

“Because our baby needed his heartrate to be continuously monitored, we wouldn’t have had this experience without the wireless CTG machine, instead I would have had to remain on a hospital bed until the point of my caesarean section – it alleviated any extra anxiety from the situation. It kept me much calmer and allowed me to be better informed and

“Every single person we’ve encountered, from Triage to the care we’re receiving now in the Neonatal Unit, have gone above and beyond our expectations. We are so grateful that this level of care exists and that we have had this support. It could have been such a different experience, but it’s been life-changing experience in the very best way and we’ll be forever grateful.”