Written by Dr.M.D.Mazumdar, MD
Foetal Distress is not a complication but a symptom of an underlying complication.
The fetus may show signs of distress at any time in the first stage or the second stage of labour. The signs of fetal distress are:
There are two main methods of monitoring the baby:
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Causes of prolonged labour like CPD, breech presentation, or failure of the cervix to dilate properly can all cause fetal distress.
The immediate aim of treatment is to increase oxygen supply to the fetus. This is done by:
Further Management of a women with fetal distress depends on what stage the distress is discovered.
If fetal distress is diagnosed in late first stage with the cervix almost fully dilated and the head well descended in the vagina, forceps delivery or vacuum aspiration may be possible in very expert hands.
But if the head is not well descended, and the doctor or midwife not very experienced, a cesarian section is safer.
This is due to the fact that by this time the head has usually descended deep into the vagina and delivery through an abdominal incision will be riskier than a vaginal delivery. The labor needs to be accelerated with medicines like syntocinon or drotaverine and the baby delivered as early as possible.
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