Prolongation of pregnancy – untimely (late) occurrence of labor activity
Post-term pregnancy is considered to be a pregnancy whose duration exceeds the normal one by 10-14 days, i.e. is 290-294 days
Varieties of post-term pregnancy
Distinguish true (biological) prolongation of pregnancy and imaginary (chronological), or prolonged pregnancy. A truly postterm pregnancy lasts more than 10-14 days after the expected period of labor (290-294 days). The child is born with signs of overmaturity, and his life is in danger. Usually in these cases there are changes from the placenta (petrificates, fatty degeneration, etc.).
Prolonged pregnancy lasts more than 294 days and ends with the birth of a full-term, functionally mature baby without signs of overmaturity and danger to his life.
Causes of prolongation of pregnancy
complex and not yet well understood. The basis is the lack of biological readiness of the body for childbirth. A certain role is played by changes in the uterus, which reduce its contractile activity, which have arisen in connection with abortions, inflammatory and other diseases. Most often, it is observed in women with menstrual dysfunction, obesity, in primiparous older than 30 years and can be inherited or observed in the same women several times, it can also be due to mental trauma.
The main symptoms of post-term pregnancy
Reducing the circumference of the abdomen, oligohydramnios, decreased skin turgor, high standing of the uterine fundus and a larger abdominal circumference than in a full-term pregnancy, a decrease in the increase or decrease in the body weight of a pregnant woman, a significant size of the fetus and limitation of its mobility, an increase in the density of the bones of the skull, narrowness of the sutures and fontanelles, a change in the nature of the fetal heart tones, an increase or decrease in fetal movements, the release of milk instead of colostrum, the frequent presence of an “immature” cervix.
Signs of overmaturity of the newborn: dark green coloration of the skin, membranes, umbilical cord, maceration of the skin, especially on the cheeks and legs, reduction or absence of cheese-like lubrication, reduction of subcutaneous fatty tissue and the formation of folds, decreased skin turgor, large fetal size, less often – malnutrition , long fingernails, poorly defined head configuration, dense skull bones, narrow sutures and fontanelles.
Treatment of post-term pregnancy
Usually, with this pathology, childbirth does not occur on its own, and it will be necessary to carry out labor induction, that is, to prepare the pregnant woman for childbirth. For this, drugs are used that increase the contractile activity of the uterus, and drugs that prepare the cervix for childbirth, vitamins, calcium products. In the absence of the effect of labor induction, a caesarean section is performed.
Prevention of post-term pregnancy
In order to prevent complications associated with post-term pregnancy, all women after a 40-week period are sent to the antenatal department of an obstetric hospital for examination and selection of a rational method of delivery.