When the fetus is not coping well during labor, it indicates fetal distress. Fetal distress is rare and may not occur if the mother and the fetus have been progressing well through pregnancy. The term fetal distress is normally used when the baby's oxygen supply is compromised in the uterus.
During fetal distress, the heart rate of the fetus is monitored continuously using an electronic heartbeat monitor. Symptoms of fetal distress include:
Causes for fetal distress
The doctor attending to the mother experiencing fetal distress may follow any of the following:
Inducing labor with medication.
Vacuum extraction delivery - using a suction cup to pull the baby down the birth canal by placing the suction cup on the baby's head.
Making the mother lie down on her left side so as to ease the pressure off the blood vessels and thus the uterus.
Mother may be put on intravenous to improve fluid levels.
Mother may be put on additional oxygen to improve supply of oxygen to the fetus.
The term epidural is often used as a short form for 'epidural anesthesia'. As a first step before administration of an epidural, an IV is given with relaxing medications. The next step is that the physician numbs a small area of the skin with numbing medicine. The physician then directs a small needle using x ray guidance into the epidural space. A small amount of contrast dye is injected to insure that the needle is properly positioned into the epidural space. Finally, a small mixture of numbing medicine or anesthetic and anti-inflammatory injection is injected.
Risk of epidural during childbirth
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 28, 2024