Fetal distress does not occur often, but it can be scary for you and your baby when it does. It indicates that something is interfering with your baby’s supply of oxygen. It can happen when you go past your due date, when your contractions are especially powerful, or when they are coming one on top of another.
An abnormal heart rate in your unborn child is usually the earliest indicator of fetal distress. The goal of the treatment for fetal distress is to lessen the stress on your unborn child and restore placental and umbilical cord blood flow in an effort to improve fetal oxygenation.
While fetal distress may not be a direct precursor to other ailments or diseases, its cause–a lack of oxygen during labor can lead to other ailments. Perinatal asphyxia, the stress of labor or some other medical condition creating an interruption to your baby’s oxygen supply, can adversely affect various systems and organs throughout the newborn.
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Common Causes of Fetal Distress
Whether fetal distress is a precursor to other ailments or disease for your child, it is important to understand the causes of fetal distress. Some common causes of fetal distress include postmaturity, a condition where your pregnancy lasts more than 42 weeks, and other pregnancy and labor complications such as difficult or rapid labor. Contractions that are too strong or contractions that are too close together might also cause fetal distress.
Your unborn child’s system might try to stave off the effects of birth asphyxia by re-regulating his blood flow to limit the negative impact it can have. Some of the causes of birth asphyxia might be not enough oxygen or blood or problems with your baby’s umbilical cord.
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Common Causes of Perinatal Asphyxia
When you learn that your baby is suffering from a lack of oxygen, you naturally want to know the cause and the fastest solution. Some common causes can include your baby’s placenta breaking away from your uterus wall too early, problems with his umbilical cord, or problems with the way your baby grew and developed during your pregnancy. Sometimes, doctors simply cannot find the cause.
A newborn with this condition might have an unhealthy skin tone or seem lethargic and have trouble breathing. They might also need to be revived or receive fluid or blood through an IV.
When a lack of oxygen causes minimal brain injury to a child, he may have no lasting brain damage. Children with moderate to severe brain injury might display permanent signs of brain damage that range from mild learning disorders to delayed development to cerebral palsy. In severe cases, perinatal asphyxia might prove to be fatal.
When to Suspect Learning Disorders in Your Child
Learning disorders can cause difficulties when your son or daughter learns to read, write, or perform simple math calculations. Understanding the signs and symptoms of the learning disorders can help your child avoid struggling in school and negative effects on their self-esteem.
It is important to know how to recognize the signs of a learning disorder. If your child has a learning disorder, they might struggle to keep up with their classmates when they reach school age. You might also notice that your child has a hard time grasping the concepts that let them read and solve problems easily, and they might have a hard time reading faces and socializing with their peers.
A child with a learning disorder in nonverbal skills may have trouble with physical coordination, interpreting facial expressions and nonverbal cues, using appropriate language in social situations, mastering fine motor skills, maintaining attention, and planning and organizing.
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Understanding the Causes of Learning Disorders
When your child has a learning disorder, you are naturally curious about the cause, the potential treatments, and the role a learning disorder might play in their future. Some factors that might contribute to the development of learning disorders in your child include:
- Family history and genetics may increase your child’s risk of developing a learning disorder
- Prenatal and neonatal risks of learning disorders might include poor growth in your uterus, premature birth, and extremely low birth weight
- Physical trauma, including head injuries or nervous system infections, might lead to the development of learning disorders in your child
If your child suffers from a learning disorder, consult their doctor for a definitive diagnosis and to establish a treatment plan. Treatment options may include extra help, individualized education programs, classroom accommodations, medications, and occupational and speech therapies.
Consult a Lawyer About Your Child’s Case of Fetal Distress
If you are concerned about the possibility of fetal distress being a precursor to other ailments or diseases in your child, consult a physician right away. You may also need the help of a birth injury lawyer who can help you identify the cause of your child’s current condition, the role fetal distress may have played, and the identity of any parties who may have played a role in your baby’s condition.
If you need help affording the medical care your son or daughter needs and deserves, contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation legal consultation to discuss your options for financial compensation.