@melaniethemidwife (aka Melanie Jackson) has put together a fabulous summary of our recent research paper. Thanks Melanie – you have captured it really well! Small, K. A., Sidebotham, M., Fenwick, J., & Gamble, J. (2020, Sept). Intrapartum cardiotocograph monitoring and perinatal outcomes for women at risk: Literature review. Women and Birth, 33(5), 411-418. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wombi.2019.10.002
Faith in technology, commercial interests, and liberalisation of tort law had more to do with the introduction of CTG monitoring than research evidence did.
The history of maternity care is essentially the story of men trying to make sense of women as a mysterious “other” to men. This is true of the history of fetal heart rate monitoring too.