Anyone who had a baby is familiar with the moment in which the midwife or the doctor checks cervical dilation. This is an unpleasant check, for some women it can be painful, especially if you are contracting during the check.
Dr. Roni Levi, the manager of the delivery room in the Kaplan Medical Center, inserted the routine use of ultrasound into the delivery room – and this use enables follow up after the progress of the delivery using an external ultrasound, while significantly decreasing the need for internal check.
For instance, instead of the invasive dilation check, we use an ultrasound targeted to the cervix from the outside. This check is non-invasive and does not induce pain or discomfort. Also, this is an objective and reliable check, and there is less risk of infection.
The ultrasound check also enables us to follow the fetus as he progresses down the birth canal during the presses in the “pressure contractions”. The midwife and the mother can view on the monitor, in real time, how the baby’s head progresses down the birth canal and this way, the mother can see she is pressing good and effectively. Also, using the ultrasound we can see whether the fetus is situated in the regular way fit for labor (facing down) or we should give him more time and a chance to turn to the right way. This information can help refrain from interventions.
What are the advantages of the ultrasound?
The ultrasound is an external check and therefore it is not painful, this is an objective and reliable check that decreases the rate of infections during birth.
Is the check dangerous?
Ultrasound checks are conducted as a routine during pregnancy, and there is no risk in these checks.
Are there no manual checks at all?
The ultrasound replaces the manual check but not in all cases. Sometimes, according to the staff discretion, manual check will be necessary, but the ultrasound checks will significantly decrease the manual checks,
Other than the fact that the ultra check is not painful, is it medically important?
Definitely. Sometimes it happens that mothers, especially first time mothers, arrive to be fully dilated but the delivery does not progress and there is a need to make a decision on how to continue it: with intervention or with a caesarean section. Studies show that at this stage of the delivery the manual check is not exact, even when skilled doctors conduct it.
Using the ultra check we can perform measurements that will allow us to evaluate the chances for the success of the interventions in labor, and thus, save on excess surgeries. In fact, using this method can decrease the rate of failures of interventions, compared to deliveries where no ultrasound is used.
Is this check conducted in other hospitals?
Using ultrasound during delivery is common in delivery rooms around the world. This check is also conducted in delivery rooms in medical centers in Israel, but the Kaplan delivery room is the only place that the check is conducted as a routine.