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Maternal Diseases and their Effect on the Fetus

There are a number of common diseases whose presence in the mother can affect the wellbeing of the fetus. For example:
  • Unstable diabetes may cause fetal heart defects, defects of the large intestine, a low blood sugar level in the infant immediately after birth, etc. However, the risk for these complications reverts to the normal for the general population if the mothers glucose level is stable.

  • Maternal hypertension may cause a decreased blood flow to the fetus, intrauterine growth retardation and disorders of the fetuss blood vessels.

  • Maternal lupus erythematosus may cause a congenital defect in the conduction system of the fetuss heart and disorders of the heart rate (arrhythmias).

  • Medication taken by the mother for various diseases may cause damage to the fetus.
In such cases, it is advisable to consider genetic and other counseling, both in order to evaluate the exact risks for the fetus and so that suitable tests can be recommended.
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