Birth Definitions

Fetal Scalp Stimulation Definition


Fetal scalp stimulation is a technique used in the pregnancy and birthing industry to elicit fetal response, by stimulating the scalp of the fetus. The technique involves stimulating the scalp of the fetus with the examiner’s fingers, with a forcep, or with a small, or digitally using a hand-held device. The stimulator is usually placed on the back of the head, behind the ears, or on the forehead. The stimulator is then turned on and the frequency and intensity of the stimulation is increased until the desired effect is achieved.

This is done to assess fetal heart rate and other vital signs. It can also help to determine if the fetus is in distress or if there are any other problems that need to be addressed.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Fetal Scalp Stimulation

There are some advantages and disadvantages to using fetal scalp stimulation. One advantage is that it can provide information about the fetus that would not be otherwise available. It can also help to speed up the delivery process by helping to move the fetus into the correct position for birth. However, there are some risks associated with this procedure, including the possibility of causing discomfort to the mother or harming the fetus. Side effects such as headaches, dizziness, and nausea may happen. In addition, there is a risk that the fetus could be injured if the stimulator is used incorrectly.

 These risks should be discussed with your healthcare provider before deciding whether or not to use this technique.

Other Related Terms

Some terms closely associated with fetal scalp stimulation include:

  • Electrode: A small device that is placed on the scalp of the fetus and used to deliver a small electrical current.
  • Stimulation: The act of applying a small electrical current to the electrode in order to assess the fetal heart rate and other vital signs.
  • Fetus: An unborn baby that is still in the womb.
  • Labor: The process of childbirth, during which the baby is born.
  • Delivery: The process of giving birth, during which the baby is expelled from the womb.

This image shows how often the term ‘Fetal Scalp Stimulation’ is used in relation to other, similar birth terms:

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