Fetal distress is characterized by low oxygen supply for the baby. This can be found either while the woman is pregnant or throughout the labor process. There are many reasons that it can appear. For example, the mother may have an illness that is causing the distress.
It is also possible for the baby to have an infection or for the umbilical cord to be compressed. Another reason could be that there has been a placental abruption or that the mother’s position is causing pressure on certain blood vessels.
It is uncertain as to how common this condition is, but there are some things that can make it more likely. Women with gestational diabetes or preeclampsia have a greater chance of developing fetal distress. Intrauterine growth restriction, hydramnios and eclampsia are also a few things that can cause fetal distress.
Some of the symptoms that you may experience with fetal distress will be noticed at prenatal visits. This is one of the reasons that attending each appointment is so important.
If the baby is in distress, changes to their heart rate will be noted. Many times, this will mean that the baby will need to be delivered immediately, usually via c-section. Unfortunately, this may not be possible early in a pregnancy and could result in a miscarriage.