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Signs that detect fetal distress


When you talk about fetal distress, you mean that something is wrong before or during delivery. In general, it is detected through the interpretation of the graphs of the fetal monitor, where all the alterations in the heart rate of the fetus are collected.

'Fetal distress' is a fairly broad term used to express a situation of difficulty in the fetus-maternal exchange, which endangers the fetus and can cause irreversible injuries due to the decrease in oxygen flow.

Fetal distress can occur for various reasons: problems due to a maternal illness such as anemia, hypertension, or heart disease; problems in the fetus such as malformations, infections, anemia or bleeding; problems with the placenta such as degeneration, insufficiency or premature separation of the placenta; as well as problems with the cord, when it presents twists or knots that prevent an adequate metabolic exchange. In this situation, you must act quickly to avoid possible dire consequences for the baby.

If you are pregnant, it is inevitable that, when we discuss topics like this, you start to tremble and feel your belly to make sure you feel your baby; and that, precisely, is what you should do: be attentive to possible signs of your child, changes in their movements or the absence of them. You must notify the doctor of any fear or doubt in this regard as soon as possible. Throughout pregnancy, your baby's movements will vary, since as he grows, he will have less and less space in the uterus: instead of kicking football, he will tend more to twist, turn or pull out an elbow or knee.

We have all heard some reason why a friend or family member had to perform an emergency cesarean section: the appearance of meconium (the baby's first stools after delivery) in the amniotic fluid, or by cord loops, or by the placenta previous ... These experiences are our first approach to this terrible expression: 'fetal suffering'. But you have to know that in situations like those mentioned, the normal thing, with due control, is that everything goes well and a beautiful healthy baby is born.

The speed with which it is diagnosed and the quick action of the doctors are essential at this time: The action protocol of the Spanish Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics (SEGO) establishes 30 minutes as a time limit for the extraction of the baby in the event of any suspicion of fetal well-being, at which time the need for an imminent delivery is established, usually through emergency cesarean section. Sometimes, the excess of information overwhelms us, but the normal thing is that in a pregnancy controlled from the beginning, attention is paid to all possible future problems, through the routine analyzes that we do at different stages of pregnancy, ultrasounds, the follow-up of the mother's health and monitoring, so we must trust that we are in the best hands, even if there is always room for some concern about the health and development of our baby. Natural in a mother!

Patro Gabaldon. Editor of our site

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Video: Physiology and Management of Fetal Hypoxia (December 2021).