The two most important characteristics of fetal heart monitoring are rate and variability. The rate, of course, is referring to the heart rate of the baby. Since this is usually done during labor and shortly thereafter, this is crucial; if the baby’s heart rate isn’t there to begin with, the mother is having a stillbirth.
However, variability refers to how much the heart rate changes during labor. If the baby’s heart is beating too fast or too slowly, it could indicate some major problems to come. A baby could die in birth if the heart rate is not in a normal rate range for a baby, resulting in a stillborn baby. Either way, rate and variability are the two most important factors here.