The fetal heart rate (FHR) may be evaluated to predict fetal oxygenation and acid–base status. Choosing auscultation or the electronic fetal monitor to evaluate the FHR depends on maternal and fetal risk factors, the nurse-to-patient ratio, and protocol. If the fetal monitor is used, it is expected to identify FHR pattern components and determine the significance of the FHR and uterine activity (UA) patterns. Accurate interpretation of the FHR and UA patterns requires a broad and deep knowledge base. This book helps labor and delivery nurses, nurse midwives, and maternal-child and family birth nurses to identify the signs of fetal well-being, normal and abnormal UA, and the more common signs of fetal compromise or the absence of fetal well-being. It discusses the maternal and fetal assessment techniques and presents an overview of the FHR and UA terminology recommended by a U.S. fetal monitor committee (NICHD). The book also helps the reader to recognize the more common FHR and UA patterns and to differentiate maternal heart rate patterns from FHR patterns. An accurate interpretation of fetal heart rate patterns and uterine activity helps to ensure the safest labor and delivery process for mother and baby. The book presents the best practices in distinguishing normal from abnormal fetal heart rate patterns and uterine activity. It covers systematic assessment of the pregnant patient and addresses external and internal fetal and maternal monitoring. The book includes a step-by-step guide to fetal monitoring equipment and procedures and detailed reproductions of actual fetal monitor tracings. It clarifies differences between maternal and fetal heart rate patterns and provides a dedicated section on chronic hypoxia, acute asphyxia, and the nursing role. The book finally identifies ineffective actions that can delay timely interventions, sets forth legal issues and provides skill-testing exercises.