Fetal distress is commonly used to indicate that the baby is unwell or in danger while in the womb. It can happen due to various reasons and can pose danger to both the mother and the fetus. Knowing the signs of fetal distress is thus important since you are required to see a doctor as soon as you start experiencing the symptoms.

Each and every pregnant woman should be aware and watch out for these signs and symptoms of fetal distress:

1. Decreased fetal movements

Pregnant woman sleeping(Getty images)

In your first trimester, you will not hear any kicks. However, by week 16, most women will start feeling the baby move inside the womb. Fetal movement is one way to tell if the baby is okay. If the fetus is no longer moving or the movements have decreased, the baby may not be doing so well and you should be concerned.

2. Vaginal bleeding

Slight bleeding is not uncommon during pregnancy. However, bleeding may occur as a result of something more serious such as placental abruption. This deprives the baby of Oxygen thus hindering healthy development. The doctor can, however, examine you to know the cause of the bleeding just to ensure that the fetus is not affected.

3. Weight gain

Between 20 to 40 kgs are considered to be normal during pregnancy. If you have gained more than this, however, your baby may be distressed. Also, if you are not adding weight, it means the baby may not be developing because they are under distress.

4. High blood pressure

Sick pregnant woman(American Heart Association)

If your blood pressure has spiked up, the baby could be distressed due to insufficient Oxygen.

5. Fetal heart rate

Reduced fetal heart rate is usually a warning sign of fetal distress. The doctor will closely monitor it to check if the rate goes back to normal. During contraction, the heart rate goes down but gets back to normal after the contraction. If this does not happen, the fetus could be distressed.