- When the Pregnancy is Prolonged and Features of Overdue Pregnancy
- What is Overdue Pregnancy
- Degrees of Postmaturity
- Danger of Overdue Pregnancy
- Peculiarities of Labor Management in Case of Overdue Pregnancy
When the Pregnancy is Prolonged and Features of Overdue Pregnancy
Most people who vote for normal delivery believe that the child can “choose” the time when it is ready to see the light and they do not encourage any interference into this sacral process. In fact, such a blind adherence to unreasonable belief may be fatal for pregnant women. The reproductive system in women today may get affected by the poor ecology, health-detrimental behavior and fatal stresses.
The female health may not be ready to trigger relevant processes at the time of the start of labor process. As a result, the natural delivery is not possible and the pregnant faces such phenomenon as overdue pregnancy.
What is Overdue Pregnancy
Since there are no methods to calculate the exact date of conception (ultrasonic diagnostics and the data on the last menstruation in the mother-to-be give the rough idea on the start of pregnancy), it is impossible to judge on the time when the woman should deliver. In such a case, the word “normal” has quite wide borders and the pregnancy may last from 38 to 42 weeks. Accordingly, the pregnancy is overdue when the natural delivery does not occur upon the “specified” 294 days.
Symptoms Overdue Pregnancy
As in case of any diagnosis, one can be certain in that a woman has the overdue pregnancy only by the results of the relevant examination by the physician who observe the pregnant woman. Apart from the “short” terms, some distinct symptoms may be the reason for such examination.
Find below some of these symptoms:
- The belly that is obviously falling (5-10 cm in the girth) and dramatic decrease in the body mass (from 1 kg) that indicate the decrease in the volume of amniotic fluid (this is normal just before the very delivery time).
- The skin which is too elastic (this is normal by the time of delivery) returns to its normal state. This is the typical sign of the failure of the reproductive system responsible for the safe delivery.
- Appearance of the breast milk which is to say that by that time a woman should breastfeed but not carry the child yet.
Signs Overdue Pregnancy
It seems that the specific actual term is the main sign for the overdue pregnancy which is not normal. However, due to errors that occur when calculating the proposed conception time, such diagnosis is unreasonable just based on the idea of the time factor. In practice, the real pattern of pregnancy is available only if the comprehensive investigation of the current state of the fetus and placenta is performed.
The advanced diagnostic tool like ultrasonic testing, fetal monitoring and amnioscopy help analyze a range of parameters as follow:
- degree of development and health indicators of the child-to-be (density of bones and the skull, the state of the fontanel, heart beat stability and other factors are measured);
- degree of placenta aging (whether the signs of placental insufficiency are shown where the risk of the fetus hypoxia is high);
- the state of amniotic fluid;
- the state of fallopian and fetoplacental blood flow.
The conclusion is made based on the investigation results whether the proposed overdue pregnancy is real (biological) or pretended (chronological), this is to say that the error might occur when the conception date is wrongly calculated. If the test results above are not sufficient to take a certain decision on this issue, the pregnant woman is additionally requested to have her hormone pattern tested. Occasionally, the data on the HCG level is helpful to reveal the whole pattern.
Below are the major signs of the real overdue pregnancy:
- uterine cervix immaturity;
- small volume and dark green (due to meconium) color of amniotic fluid;
- absence of forewaters (“flat membrane”);
- inadequate placenta function (as a rule, it is related to its premature aging);
- too high density of cranial bones of the child that makes the labor complicated.
The overdue pregnancy which is the serious abnormality occurs due to a lot of complicated physical processes that makes it difficult to reveal the core reason of this phenomenon. Nevertheless, health care providers have their own opinion on this abnormality. So, the specialists believe that factors that may provoke prolonged pregnancy might be provisionally classified for two large groups, namely: fetus pathology and changes in the health status of the pregnant.
We have mentioned above the cases of the fetus abnormal development including the growth of the cranial bones in the fetus that may complicate the labor period and result in the overdue pregnancy. When it comes to cases when the lack of labors is the result of health problems in the mother-to-be, you need to consider some specific risk factors.
So, the pregnancy may become overdue for certain if a pregnant woman:
- Is sick with STD and chronic liver or endocrine system diseases;
- Refers to the group of older parturient;
- Is not psychologically ready to deliver a child (fear of pain, psycho-emotional stress, a fear to lose a long-waited child when it is quite safe inside her body).
Degrees of Postmaturity
The specialists classify three stages of the fetus postmaturity depending on the period of ‘late’ natural labor as follow:
- Degree I. The postmatured fetus is in more than satisfied health state. It is different from the child from the normal delivery in too dry skin which may be explained by the lack of amniotic fluid.
- Degree II. Due to the strong lack of amniotic fluids and fluids contaminated with the meconium, the fetus receives poor nutritional substances and as a result, there are signs of hypertrophy in the fetus. The child’s skin is too dry, it is peeling and shrunk; the cranial bones are dense.
- Degree III. The fetus is too exhausted and hardly has subcutaneous fat and due to that, the child looks shrunk even of larger weight. The signs of hypoxia present.
Danger of Overdue Pregnancy
As per the official statistic data, up to 14 % pregnancies end in postmaturity. What is the danger of such a pregnancy? Is there a chance that a newborn will be delivered healthy? Any abnormal pregnancy mean certain risks during delivery. The stronger is abnormality, the higher is the degree of complications. This does not clearly mean that the female’s health will deteriorate and she will bear a sick child if her pregnancy is postmatured. However, this risk is high to be neglected.
Risks for the Pregnant Woman
The postmatured child is often quite big. When born naturally, this child causes quite serious health problems in its mother. Multiple perineal tears, tears of vagina walls and the uterine cervix resulting in the bleeding, urine retention and higher risk of infection. This is too much for the natural delivery. This is why most health care providers decide for the Cesarian operation trying to minimize undue risks for the woman.
Risks for the Child
Unfortunately, it is too difficult for postmatured children to go along the maternal passages. Their grown cranial bones and too developed brain often make the head of the baby too big to go through the passages by its own or with the help of doctors with no trauma in the end. Moreover, the fetus is poor in oxygen in its last days in the mother’s belly which significantly increase the risk of chronic hypoxia.
Peculiarities of Labor Management in Case of Overdue Pregnancy
Late labors normally require medicated activation, and often, surgical interference. In any case, this procedure almost always requires forced amniotomy (that is, the rupture of amniotic fluid sac). The health care professionals usually take decisions on the specific delivery method based on the results of pre-examination. The mother-to-by is hospitalized on the 41st week of pregnancy to manage the procedure.