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An OB can recognize fetal distress
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An OB can recognize fetal distress

An Oregon obstetrician is specially trained to closely monitor a pregnant woman’s condition, as well as to make sure her baby is growing and progressing in a healthy manner in the womb. This is one of several reasons why it is so important for a pregnant woman to attend regular prenatal visits with her OB or midwife. If there are any signs of fetal distress during pregnancy or childbirth, an OB or midwife can take act quickly to implement appropriate treatment and care.  

Sadly, many mothers and infants have suffered birth injuries due to substandard medical care. For instance, if an OB disregards a mother’s concern and report of adverse symptoms, it could result in illness or injury, whereas proper monitoring and treatment may not only help avoid distress but could save a mother’s or infant’s life. Every pregnancy is unique; however, there are certain symptoms that the typical OB or midwife would consider signs of possible fetal distress.  

A baby’s heart rate and movements should be closely monitored 

Both during prenatal visits, as well as during labor and delivery, a baby’s heart rate and movements in the womb should be closely monitored. The typical OB or midwife knows that a fetal heart rate that is too fast, too slow or irregular is a sign that the baby is in distress. If there is meconium in the amniotic fluid, which is a dark and tarry-looking substance, it means the infant has passed stool during labor, which is a sign of distress.  

A fetal heart rate that is too fast means the infant might have a fever, which is a sign of infection in the body. A heart rate that is too slow suggests oxygen deprivation. If a member of a labor and delivery team does not take appropriate action when symptoms of fetal distress arise, it places both mother and baby at risk for serious birth injuries. Many medical malpractice claims have been filed in Oregon and throughout the country because of substandard care regarding fetal distress during labor.