Oxygen starvation of the fetus

Oxygen starvation - what is it?

Oxygen starvation, or fetal hypoxia - is the name for changes in the fetal development due to insufficient supply of oxygen to the fetus. As a result of oxygen starvation, body functions are violated, metabolic processes change.

The consequences of oxygen starvation for the fetus in different terms of pregnancy are different. In the early stages of hypoxia can lead to fetal anomalies - for example, slowing the development of the embryo. In late pregnancy hypoxia usually leads to the fact that the growth of the fetus is delayed, its central nervous system is affected - the spinal cord and the brain, and the possibilities of adaptation of the newborn are reduced.

Oxygen starvation can take place in acute, subacute and chronic. Chronic hypoxia develops over a long period. Hypoxia of the acute form is usually during labor, and rarely - during the pregnancy itself, chronic oxygen deficiency develops during pregnancy itself.

Causes of



Oxygen starvation of the fetus is not an independent disease. This is more the result of various pathologies in the mother's body, as well as in the fetus itself and in the placenta.

The reasons why the oxygen starvation of the fetus develops are as follows.

  • Diseases of the mother: cardiovascular, intoxication, anemia.

  • Disturbance of blood flow between the fetus and the placenta, which could arise due to gestosis, abnormality of labor, retention, pathology of the placenta and umbilical cord.

  • Diseases of the fetus itself: anemia, congenital malformations, hemolytic disease, compression of the fetal head during labor.


  • Mechanism of development of oxygen starvation



    In fact, there are many mechanisms for the development of hypoxia: a deterioration in the function of the placental metabolism, a violation of delivery to the uterus of oxygen, a small amount of hemoglobin to the maternal blood, a violation of the total blood flow, cardiovascular failure.

    Unsaturated blood leads to a change in the metabolic processes of the fetus. At first all its systems work actively, but then they are oppressed, which leads to irreversible consequences. A little oxygen starvation. As a rule, the child's health does not affect the future. But severe hypoxia ends pitifully, as blood circulation of all organs is broken, their cells die.

    How to understand - is there any hypoxia?



    To suspect oxygen starvation in the fetus can and independently, watching his motor activity. With the recently started oxygen starvation, one can notice an increase and an increase in the movements of the fetus, its restless behavior. With progressive oxygen starvation, the fetal movement gradually weakens, which indicates the suffering of the fetus due to a lack of incoming oxygen.

    What to do?



    In a situation where there is a suspicion of oxygen starvation of the fetus, it is very important for the pregnant woman to maintain complete rest and bed rest. The very treatment of chronic oxygen starvation is not easy, and it is necessary to begin with the treatment of the underlying disease that led to hypoxia of the fetus.

    The complex therapy includes procedures aimed at normalizing the metabolic processes of the fetus and improving the supply of oxygen. If at a period of 28 weeks complex therapy does not work, emergency delivery is offered - caesarean section.