Fetal movement

Fetal wakefulness after 41 weeks of age may produce tachycardia (rapid heart rate) which may cause health care providers to believe that the infant is suffering fetal distress. A study of fetal behavior in normal infants sometimes revealed rapid heart rate with only brief periods of normal heart rate. This may appear to be tachycardia with decelerations. This may lead to operative intervention. The researchers suggest that the mother be asked if she senses any change in the infant’s behavior patterns as a preliminary indication of fetal distress. If the activity pattern is normal for the infant it is less likely that fetal distress is present. (Early Human Development 40:29-38, 1994) Copyright 1994 Phylis Austin


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