During labor, your healthcare team will monitor your baby's heartbeat, which helps them know how the baby is doing during the delivery process.
It is normal for the baby's heart rate to change during labor, especially during contractions. But some changes may mean that your baby is having trouble. The treatment will depend on the seriousness of the problem, how far along in your delivery you are, and whether or not the problem is likely to clear up on its own.
For example, the heart rate may change if the umbilical cord becomes twisted or compressed, and decreases the baby's supply of blood and oxygen. In this case, simply changing your position can relieve pressure on the umbilical cord, and the baby's heart rate should return to normal. You may also need to be put on oxygen.
Or, if the baby starts having trouble after moving into the birth canal, your doctor may speed up the delivery by using forceps or vacuum.
In serious and potentially life-threatening situations, you may need a cesarean delivery.