Best answer: What causes a baby to be in distress?

The most common cause of fetal distress is when the baby doesn’t receive enough oxygen because of problems with the placenta (including placental abruption or placental insufficiency) or problems with the umbilical cord (for example, if the cord gets compressed because it comes out of the cervix first).

What does it mean when a baby is under distress?

Fetal distress, also called “nonreassuring fetal status,” is the term medical professionals use to describe when a fetus is not receiving adequate oxygen during pregnancy or labor (1). Fetal distress is an indication that the baby may not be doing well in utero.

What are the signs of baby distress?

Signs of Fetal Distress

  • Abnormal Heart Rates. Babies who are progressing well in utero will have stable and robust heartbeats. …
  • Decrease in Fetal Movement. …
  • Maternal Cramping. …
  • Maternal Weight Gain. …
  • Vaginal Bleeding. …
  • Meconium in the Amniotic Fluid.

How can you prevent fetal distress?


  1. Changing the mother’s position.
  2. Ensuring the mother is well-hydrated.
  3. Ensuring the mother has adequate oxygen.
  4. Amnioinfusion (the insertion of fluid into the amniotic cavity to alleviate compression of the umbilical cord)
  5. Tocolysis (a therapy used to delay preterm labor by temporarily stopping contractions)

Is fetal distress common?

When your doctor or midwife sees signs that your baby is unwell during pregnancy, or isn’t coping well with the demands of labour, they may call it fetal distress. Fetal distress during labour and birth is fairly common. About a quarter of babies show signs of distress at some point .

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Does fetal distress affect baby?

Babies who experience fetal distress, such as having an usual heart rate or passing meconium during labour, are at greater risk of complications after birth. Lack of oxygen during birth can lead to very serious complications for the baby, including a brain injury, cerebral palsy and even stillbirth.

What are 4 signs of stress or distress in babies?

Signs of stress—cues that your baby is getting too much stimulation:

  • hiccupping.
  • yawning.
  • sneezing.
  • frowning.
  • looking away.
  • squirming.
  • frantic, disorganized activity.
  • arms and legs pushing away.

Can fetal distress cause death?

When left untreated, fetal distress can lead to birth injuries and even death. However, early recognition and evaluation can allow a physician to recognize the warning signs of fetal distress and deliver an infant before irreversible birth injuries result.

Can induction cause fetal distress?

Inducing labor involves intervening in the body’s natural processes by breaking the amniotic sac, using medication, or both. However it’s done, it can lead to fetal distress (such as abnormal heart rate). 1 In addition, when labor is induced using medication, labor may take longer.