What Causes fetal Distress

Fetal distress can be caused by any of several factors, including inadequate uteroplacental support or improper exchange by either the mother or the baby of oxygen and carbon dioxide; severe placental problems caused by high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia) and by diabetes; infection of the uterus or surrounding area; umbilical cord compression; a placental abruption (separation of the placenta from the uterine wall); or a uterine rupture. A uterine rupture is itself a life or death condition for both mother and baby in which every second that delivery is delayed results in additional permanent injury.