What is fetal hypoxia?

Fetal hypoxia is a pathological changes in the body of the unborn child, triggered by a lack of oxygen. Hypoxia is not an independent pathology and occurs under the influence of various negative processes occurring in the body of the mother.

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Symptoms and effects of hypoxia to the fetus

The lack of oxygen leads to metabolic disorders and malfunctioning of organs and systems.


In different stages of pregnancy, this pathology leads to different consequences. For example, in the first trimester it provokes of malformations or growth retardation of the embryo. In the later stages of pathology leads to damage to the nervous system, and also reduces the adaptive capabilities of the baby. The body of the child inside the womb has compensatory features that support normal blood flow.

This is because the fetal heart rate reaches 160 beats per minute, and also special structure of the fruit of hemoglobin, which is better than in adults, delaying the oxygen. When the last is not enough, slow metabolism, the organs begin to work harder, an increased provision of blood to vital organs – brain, heart, kidneys, there is hypoxia of the intestine, excreted meconium – original feces.

Despite compensationautosense, the fetus may not constantly work in this mode. Primarily with prolonged oxygen starvation affects the nervous system, as its tissues are the most sensitive to oxygen deficit and is largely dependent on itself.

Hypoxia of the brain can disrupt its structure already at 6-11 weeks of gestation, disrupted the structure and functioning of blood vessels, the blood-brain barrier Matures more slowly. The latter is a protective mechanism of the CNS and is a system of capillaries of the brain. Any damage to this mechanism may lead to impaired function of the brain.

Easy hypoxia is mainly does not affect the health of the unborn child. However, the heavy is accompanied by the phenomenon of ischemia (in some areas, the shortage of blood flow) and necrosis (destruction of tissue) in different organs, which, consequently, leads to tragic consequences. Hypoxia in newborns is manifested in a variety of symptoms ranging from functional disorders and to disorders of mental development.

Causes of hypoxia

There are many factors that can lead to such a condition. In the first place are diseases of the future mother. Among those most common anemia – abnormal breakdown of hemoglobin in the blood. Anemia is accompanied by dysfunction of red blood cells – they can't in normal mode to deliver oxygen to the cells.


If the woman has a congenital or acquired heart diseases, diseases of myocardium, chronic lung diseases, during pregnancy, these organs will experience increased load, which causes circulatory failure, which is accompanied by disruption of the microcirculation in the tissues, there is hypoxia of a myocardium, etc. thus gradually there is a deficiency of oxygen and a disruption in the communication between mother, placenta and fetus. Adversely affect the course of pregnancy pathology of the respiratory system.

They can cause respiratory failure when there is insufficient oxygen supply to the tissues as the woman and the fetus. The causes can hide in diabetes, kidney conditions.

Oxygen deficiency can occur due to violations of the utero-placental blood flow. The latter often happens when perenashivanie pregnancy, when placental abruption and other abnormalities of the placenta and umbilical cord, danger of premature birth, anomalies of labor activity, other complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Hypoxia can be caused by incompatibility of blood groups of the mother and the child, intrauterine infection, congenital malformations, prolonged compression of the head during delivery.

How to identify signs of fetal hypoxia

The woman could notice something was wrong only to change the motor activity of the baby. First, the child becomes restless, often moving. In the long pathology he, on the contrary, become less active. In such a situation should immediately consult the doctor and carry out cardiotocography (CTG), Doppler ultrasound, laboratory diagnostics, study of amniotic fluid.

To pathology symptoms included stunting of the child.

  1. To find a problem most effective will help cardiotocography. Using
    cardiac monitor to assess heart rate of the baby and its motor activity. It is very important to carry out this procedure during childbirth. During the last also evaluate uterine contractions. Assessing the heart rate, which varies depending on fights, or perturbations, are judged on the state of the baby. Usually this procedure is performed after 32 weeks. About hypoxia during labor and delivery shows the violation of heart rate, so cardiomonitor surveillance is widely used at this time;
  2. Doppler allows to assess the speed and condition of blood vessels in the placenta and umbilical cord. This procedure is an important part of the diagnosis, as it allows to identify serious threats to pregnancy, such as premature maturation of the placenta;
  3. Ultrasound is used to evaluate the composition, color and amount of amniotic fluid, which can also tell about the presence of pathologies. Normal amniotic fluid is homogeneous. After 28 weeks they have a fine mist, not a danger. The unfortunate situation is the reduction and the increase of their volume;
  4. In some cases it is necessary to perform a lumbar puncture to study the composition of amniotic fluid. In this
    the case of a special needle are sampling the biological fluid through the abdominal cavity;
  5. The need to conduct amnioscopy occurs when perenashivanie pregnancy, incompatible blood types of mother and child, burdened obstetric history (miscarriages, severe gestosis, noncarrying of pregnancy, premature birth). To this endoscopic study is resorted to in the case when suspected acute or chronic fetal hypoxia. Amnioscopy is contraindicated in placenta previa, colpitis, cervicitis, and other infectious processes, the threat of termination.

As mentioned, an important color of amniotic fluid. Normally, they are transparent, but if greenish color, then separated meconium, which is a sign of hypoxia.

What to do in case of fetal hypoxia

If you suspect a chronic lack of oxygen (toxicosis, extragenital diseases, etc.) woman hospitalitynet or sent for diagnostics to assess the condition of the fetus and pinpoint the cause of the violation. A variety of activities to improve the blood supply to the fetus and the recovery of metabolic processes in some cases can be managed.


Your doctor may prescribe Aqua gym in the absence of contraindications, and a set of breathing exercises. The result is a reduced tone of the uterus, increases metabolism, oxygen is actively supplied to the child.

In chronic fetal hypoxia, an important rest. Only in the case of bed rest, blood flow to the uterus improves. In addition, efforts directed at eliminating the causes which led to the lack of oxygen.

Treatment should be comprehensive, because the consequences can be very sad. Therapy will involve administration of drugs which widen the blood vessels of the placenta, relaxes the muscles of the uterus, normalizes blood circulation between mother and fetus through the placenta. Can be given medication to normalize metabolic processes, increase resistance of the brain and tissues to oxygen deficiency.

If the effect of therapy is missing, after 28 weeks addresses the question of premature delivery.

During childbirth cardiomonitor surveillance in order to detect acute hypoxia and rationally to solve this problem.