EFM (electronic fetal monitoring) uses ultrasound waves to hear your baby’s heart. Your midwife uses a machine called a transducer, held against your abdomen or a small electrode clipped onto your baby’s scalp or bottom if your baby's breech.
EFM monitors your baby continuously. For some babies this can be very important - if they are at risk or if it's known that there may be an issue.
In many hospitals midwives agree that continuous EFM is not needed for normal labour, especially in the first stage.
Sometimes a Doppler or Pinard stethoscope is used instead.