HOW DOES PREECLAMPSIA DIRECTLY AFFECT THE FETUS?, Nathan Fox, MD (Digital)
What is Preeclampsia?
Preeclampsia can be very harmful to a developing fetus. Preeclampsia can have a direct adverse impact on the fetal growth, development, and safety. Preeclampsia effects the fetus as follows:
Impaired blood flow to the placenta can result in decreased blood to the fetus. Maternal blood carries vital nutrients and removes metabolic waste. Restricted circulation may result in the baby having a reduced birth weight or health effects as a result of being delivered prematurity to protect the mother’s health.
Reduced Fluid Intake
If circulation to the placenta worsens, it can lead to reduced fluid transfer to the fetus, similar to dehydration in adults. This can cause decreased fetal urine production, which leads to decreased amniotic fluid volume (as amniotic fluid is mostly fetal urine). This condition is called oligohydramnios.
In very severe cases of preeclampsia, the circulation through the placenta can be so severely reduced, it can lead to decreased oxygen supply to the fetus. Oxygen is vital for fetal brain development and for the body to perform basic metabolic functions. Impaired blood flow causing oxygen deprivation can lead to fetal brain damage or even death.
At Maternal Fetal Medicine Associates, we monitor mothers very closely for warning signs and symptoms that indicate risks of preeclampsia to mother and fetus. Women with preeclampsia should expect a high level of care to optimize health and wellness to themselves and their babies.
Maternal Fetal Medicine blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!