# MVU's

1. Hello,

I am an LVN and I work on a L&D, post partum floor. I usually work PP but I am going to go back to school to get my RN to do L&D and I do help with deliveries and reading strips now. I am getting confused as to how to count the MVUS with an IUPC. Does any one have any "MVUS for dummies" type suggestions LOL?
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3. I don't know! The IUPC's on my unit automatically calculate the MVU. I am new though, so perhaps someone more experienced would have more info.
4. You want to look at a ten minute period. I usually fold the strip so I don't get confused about where I started/ended. You just add the MVU's above baseline together. So if you have a baseline of 20 mm Hg with three contractions each reaching 60 mvus. 60 (MVUs) -20 (baseline tone)= 40 MVus. Three contractions like that so 40+40+40= 120 MVUs.

Clinical labor is considered approximately 3 contractions in 10 minutes, each at least 40 mm Hg in intensity or 80-120 total MVUs in 10 minutes.
Last edit by CEG on Jun 25, '09 : Reason: left something out
5. Say your baseline is 20mm, the first contraction is 40mm, then 80mm, 55mm, 60mm, 50mm in 10 min. You would add (40-20=)20, (80-20=)60, (55-20=)35, (60-20=)40, (50-20=)30=185MVU.

There is no one accepted range that is universally considered "right". But most often 180 to 240 is considered adequate.
6. The thing is that MVUs are really only truly calculable if the mom has an IUPC in. You can have a skinny mama with mild ctx that look booming on the strip and a fluffy mama with little itty bitty ctx on the strip which are in actuality really strong. Without an IUPC I think the best way of determining ctx strength is through palpation.
7. Even with an IUPC in, you should be palpating. Does what you feel agree with what the machine is reading? If not, you can start trouble shooting the monitor. If you're new to L&D, you can improve your palpation skills by palpating and getting numbers to go with what you feel. Actually feeling a contraction that measures 60mm can be more helpful than trying to figure out "nose, chin, forehead?"