Reassuring fetal heart rate patterns

1. A baseline fetal heart rate of 120 to 160 bpm

2. Absence of FHR decelerations

3. Age appropriate FHR accelerations

4. Normal FHR variability (5 to 25 bpm).

C. Early decelerations (ie, shallow symmetrical decelerations in which the nadir of the deceleration occurs simultaneously with the peak of the contraction) and mild bradycardia of 100 to 119 bpm are caused by fetal head compression, and they are not associated with fetal acidosis or poor neonatal outcome.

D. The majority of fetal arrhythmias are benign and spontaneously convert to normal sinus rhythm by 24 hours after birth. Persistent tachyarrhythmias may cause fetal hydrops if present for many hours to days. Persistent bradyarrhythmias are often associated with fetal heart disease (eg, cardiomyopathy related to lupus), but seldom result in hypoxia or acidosis in fetal life.

E. FHR accelerations and mild variable decelerations are indicative of a normally functioning autonomic nervous system.

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