Foetal distress syndrome

What is Foetal Distress Syndrome?

Foetal distress syndrome is a medical emergency where the unborn baby is in grave danger due to oxygen deficiency or some other complication. It is usually diagnosed due to irregular heart rate, changes in foetal movements, and/or signs of distress in the amniotic fluid.

Symptoms fo Fetal Distress Syndrome

The folllowing signs and symptoms may indicate a foetal distress:

  • Disturbances in the baby's heart rate in any form - acceleration or deceleration.
  • Reduced oxygen in the amniotic fluids.
  • Changes in the baby's movements or absence of movements.
  • Abnormal amount of amniotic fluid.
  • Changes in the baby's blood pressure.

Risk Factors for Foetal Distress Syndrome

The following are some of the risk factors associated with foetal distress:

  • Poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy.
  • Drinking alcohol or taking certain drugs during pregnancy.
  • Any maternal health problem like diabetes, hypertension etc.
  • Prolonged labor or difficult birth.
  • Umbilical cord complications.

Treatment for Foetal Distress Syndrome

The standard treatment for foetal distress is delivery, which is usually done through C-section or vaginal delivery. In some cases, doctors may opt to take steps in trying to improve the baby's condition prior to delivery. This may include administering oxygen to the mother or the baby or using medications to improve the baby's heart rate and other vital signs.


Foetal distress syndrome is a medical emergency and appropriate treatment and medication should be administered as soon as possible. Women who are at risk of developing foetal distress should seek medical advice at the earliest to prevent any further complications.