For some time now, the expression fetal suffering has been widely used and also discussed by several specialists in the field and also by defenders of humanized childbirth. After all, what is fetal distress and how accurate is an emergency cesarean section really?
Controversial aside, fetal suffering is characterized by a situation in which the baby is not well in the womb, this may be for some different reasons, but it has been used as a pretext and often and in some cases even to convince a mother and having your child via cesarean section even if the pregnant woman’s wishes are different. However, the term fetal distress is almost never really clarified.
The reason for a sudden cesarean delivery to be only fetal suffering should be questioned, however in some cases the term “fetal suffering” is enough to appear and of course, the pregnant woman panics. But which cases should be seen as fetal distress? What are the real risks that require an emergency caesarean?
Can a true case of fetal distress end with a normal birth? To determine some factors and tests must be done before any conclusion, monitoring the fetus must take place very carefully. Assessment of the baby’s dynamics, its oxygenation and the presence of meconium in the amniotic fluid.
What are the Concrete Fetal Suffering Factors?
We have already seen here that the umbilical cord loops around the baby’s neck are totally myth in relation to normal birth. No matter how many turns the umbilical cord has around the baby’s neck, oxygen will continue to pass, as the baby receives all nutrients including oxygen through the umbilical cord. The only one, however, is the real knot . As a cord loop has already been demystified as fetal distress, let’s look at a few more items that are led to believe in fetal distress:
Fetal heart rate slowing – Normally the compression of contractions over the umbilical cord can cause a decrease in heart rate momentarily during the peak of contraction. It usually happens during active labor , but there are cases where it can start even before 35 weeks in training contractions.
The decrease in oxygenation of the baby is an aggravating factor at the time of delivery, but even with tests pointing out, absolute certainty really comes from examining the blood from inside the umbilical cord where this lack of oxygen is detected with certainty, this lack of oxygen must be taken into account and very much in mind, after all it is a strong indication of acute fetal suffering.
Cardiotocography performed at the maternity hospital
Presence of meconium in the amniotic fluid – Usually when the baby is ready to be born but labor does not happen, the baby’s tendency to poop becomes greater. As the baby swallows that liquid with meconium, it can cause the baby to acquire some type of infection. Meconium is detected by rupture of the bag, and in this liquid it is possible to clearly perceive the greenish color of the baby’s poop, but this meconium does not prevent the pregnant woman from having a normal birth at all.
Cardiac Alterations of the baby and pregnant woman – If even without contractions the baby has cardiac alterations it is also considered fetal distress, however it is not a direct indication for an emergency cesarean delivery, everything will depend on the general condition of the baby and as much as her condition and that of the pregnant woman at the time of delivery.
Alteration of maternal blood pressure – If blood pressure is too high, the hypothesis of a cesarean delivery should be discussed with the doctor, of course other factors such as risk of pre-eclampsia and Hellp’s syndrome must be ruled out before any other diagnosis of DHEG.
Decreased fetal movements – It is not an indication of fetal distress, with the passage of pregnancy the space may become smaller and thus decrease the movements but the baby’s movements and vitality must be monitored by the doctor.
These episodes do not prevent a normal delivery. Stimuli like sounds should also not be ignored by the baby. Many maternity hospitals use the sound horn method to “wake up” the baby and then see the reaction they have to external noise and touch as well. Another indication of fetal distress is the absence of amniotic fluid for more than 48 hours and the absence of labor even with induction, in these cases cesarean section is the safest way out.
Most cases of fetal distress such as reduced heartbeat or low oxygenation of the fetus are detected with ultrasound with doppler, cardiotoccus and exams done by the doctor, but absolute certainty only after delivery. In short, every case is unique and must be evaluated by an expert individually. If your desire is to have a normal delivery, talk to your doctor. Not all fetal distress is indicative for cesarean section, the doctor must take into account all factors and the pregnant woman’s history to determine whether a normal delivery is feasible at the time, the important thing is that everything goes well and the mother and child stay with the mother. 100% health and that common sense prevails on both sides, both the doctor and the parturient.
Blogger’s note: I had my first cesarean delivery on the recommendation of a doctor due to a broken bag and a diagnosis of infection, even so the doctor took 2 days to deliver the baby, I wonder, could it have induced the delivery to instead of having a cesarean section? Will I never have that answer but honestly? what matters that in the end, everything worked out. Whether your desire is to have a normal or natural delivery, guidance and information makes all the difference.
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.