Fetal hypoxia during pregnancy causes panic in future mothers. Not understanding exactly what the problem is, they begin to make fear. In fact, hypoxia is not as dangerous as it seems, if it was found immediately and taken appropriate measures. But doctors usually do not bother with detailed explanations about this phenomenon. Moreover, modern medicine treats the consequences, but not the cause. Therefore, pregnant women need to understand and understand what they mean by hypoxia.
Fetal hypoxia – what is it?
According to official sources, this concept refers to oxygen deficiency, which occurs in the growing body of a baby. This condition causes a number of changes in physiological processes. Oxygen enters the fetus through the placenta from the mother’s blood. If it is not enough, then the organs and systems of the baby suffer. First of all, danger threatens the heart, blood vessels and nervous system.
The disease can occur at any stage of pregnancy. If the fetus suffers from a lack of oxygen for a long period of time, this will seriously affect its physical and mental development. If we consider that not every pregnant woman immediately goes to the doctor, feeling discomfort, it becomes clear why so often there are negative effects of hypoxia.
To avoid complications, the treatment of the disease should be started up to 7 days after the start of oxygen starvation. This problem may occur during normal pregnancy. If the fetus has a small lack of oxygen for a long time, then doctors diagnose chronic hypoxia. It happens that the oxygen starvation in a baby occurs before the very birth. In this case, we are talking about acute hypoxia.
What happens to a baby if he lacks oxygen?
This question worries mommies the most. The answer here is only one – the future child begins to simply suffocate. But this is an extreme case. This does not happen immediately and not always. Before that, abnormalities begin to occur in the fetus. If they cannot be detected in a timely manner and no remedial measures are taken, the consequences may be irreversible.
What are the consequences
If fetal hypoxia manifested itself in the first months of pregnancy, then it may lead to a problem in the development of the fetal brain. At the beginning of the term, the internal organs and systems of the embryo are laid and formed. Therefore, the lack of oxygen can provoke severe violations in its development. Sometimes there are injuries and anomalies.
If hypoxia occurs after the 20th week of the intrauterine life of the baby, then it can cause the following violations:
- intrauterine growth retardation;
- disturbances in the development of the nervous system;
- problems with adaptation after birth.
Hypoxia may occur in late periods or before childbirth. Then the child’s central nervous system may suffer, which will affect its physical development. This entails a delay in its development. The newborn will be worse to adapt to the external environment. In addition, there is a chance of mental or physical abnormalities.
Doctors say that in children who have experienced a lack of oxygen at birth, there are disturbances in the autonomic nervous system. This can be manifested by hypertonicity and anxiety. Such children are under the constant medical supervision of a neurologist. According to statistics, only 4% of pregnant women with hypoxia give birth to healthy babies. But if this violation is detected in time, the consequences can be minimized.
We list the causes of hypoxia
There is acquired and hereditary hypoxia. Many doctors consider it a genetic problem. Very often, the reasons are the mother’s diseases that were before her pregnancy:
- lung disease;
- kidney disease;
- heart failure;
Complications during pregnancy can also cause a lack of oxygen in the fetus. These reasons include the following:
- excess amniotic fluid;
- problems with the placenta;
- pelvic presentation of the baby;
- if just two or more kids;
- disturbances in the uteroplacental circulation
Diseases of the fetus can also cause hypoxia. These include anemia, congenital malformations, infections, or incompatibility of blood in the child and the mother.
Causes of acute birth hypoxia:
- placental abruption;
- pain relief during childbirth;
- rapid delivery, etc.
Doctors seek to prevent an acute hypoxia of the baby. In this case, they do a cesarean section if the problem arose during the first stage of labor. If the uterus has already opened, then forceps are applied.
Fetal hypoxia during pregnancy – symptoms
The future mother can feel something is wrong from the second half of the term. If the baby is already moving, then it is necessary to monitor the frequency of his movements. Normally, the frequency of perturbations is at least 10 times a day. Here are due to a series of fetal movements. It is necessary to count the episodes (sets of movements), but not every movement of the baby. For example, a child actively moved a couple of minutes, then calmed down – this is one episode. An hour later, he again showed activity and moved a few minutes – this is the second episode. Such episodes should be more than 10 in one day.
It is believed that increased fetal movement is one of the symptoms of hypoxia. However, many experts argue that a decrease in the frequency of perturbations or the absence of fetal movements is talking about the lack of oxygen. If the pregnant woman suspected the problem, she is advised to make CTG. This procedure is safe and painless. The specialist uses special sensors with which he records the fetal heartbeat. After decoding the indicators, the doctor can make an accurate conclusion about the child’s well-being. CTG is a routine procedure, it is done during pregnancy with suspected lack of oxygen, as well as during childbirth.
The main symptom of hypoxia, doctors call the fetal heartbeat uneven. The norm is when a heartbeat of one minute is 120-160 beats. Violations can be traced and doppler.
If the fetus is experiencing a lack of oxygen, it can begin to move actively. After all, its systems and organs are working in an enhanced mode, trying to get the necessary oxygen. However, this does not last long. After activation, a sudden depression of fetal functions occurs. If the time does not restore the volume of oxygen, then the consequences will be dire.
The child calms down, losing the ability to move. Thus, if the expectant mother feels complete calm after the sudden activity of the baby, she should immediately consult a doctor. Pregnant need to carefully monitor their feelings. If she thinks that the baby inside stops for a long time, then you should consult with your gynecologist.
How to treat hypoxia
If the future mother was diagnosed with fetal hypoxia, then she can be referred for inpatient treatment. Success depends on timely therapy. Pregnant provide complete rest. But sometimes you can get by and treatment at home. In this case, the woman constantly visits the doctor. In formulating treatment tactics, determining the cause of hypoxia is of great importance. Therapy is usually carried out in a complex. But if the condition of the fetus deteriorates, then the doctors insist on a cesarean section (for a period of 28 weeks).
If we are talking about chronic hypoxia, the doctors monitor the fetal heartbeat. If there is a threat of complications, then resort to artificial childbirth. In the case of acute hypoxia, which originated in childbirth, take a whole range of measures to assist the child. A sudden problem will be noticed by a specialist taking delivery. The baby’s heart activity is monitored by cardiac monitoring. The prerequisites for the lack of oxygen in a child are greenish or muddy waters, which have moved away before childbirth. About the onset of acute hypoxia can be judged by fetal blood tests and amniotic fluid tests. Increasing and prolonged acute hypoxia is the real indication for emergency cesarean section.
Doctors say that the acute state of hypoxia can also be prevented in most cases. The reasons for this condition are rooted in the period of carrying a baby. If violations occurring during pregnancy are detected on time, then many troubles can be avoided in the future.
Can I prevent hypoxia
During pregnancy, you must follow all the requirements of a doctor. It is necessary to eat and rest a lot. To prevent hypoxia, pregnant women are recommended to perform breathing exercises. Benefit brings aqua-gymnastics.
If you follow a healthy lifestyle, you can avoid hypoxia. A woman should not smoke and drink alcohol. It is necessary to breathe clean air. The ideal option is to move to an environmentally safe area during pregnancy. Long and leisurely walks in the fresh air, good rest and sleep – all these measures will help you to prevent possible problems. They do not provide a 100% guarantee of the absence of hypoxia. However, a healthy diet and regime significantly increase the chances of preventing the problem. Do not forget about timely visits to your doctor. Regular examinations at the gynecologist help to identify abnormalities in time and correct them in a timely manner.