Pregnancy is the most crucial phase of a woman’s life and the whole life of the to-be mother undergoes many changes in the phase of these nine months of pregnancy. There are many diseases and complications that a pregnant lady can undergo during this time. Here we discuss one of those complications- Amniotic Band Syndrome (ABS), a major state in which the fetus gets entwined with amniotic cords, this condition can hamper the growth and development of the coming baby. This happens because once the baby gets tangled in the amniotic strings, the blood supply gets curbed to all other body parts. This can even be dangerous as it potentially associated with a variety of different birth defects or deformations of the head, foot, facial, toe, hands, etc. Generally how dangerous is this to the baby depends on where strands are located and how tightly they are entangled around the baby’s body part.
What Leads To Amniotic Band Syndrome?
The amniotic sac has two layers, the amnion, and the chorion. The amnion and the chorion amnion are very thin and even though technically separate from one another, they seem to attach to one another. Of the two layers, the amnion is closest to your baby. Due to some unidentified reasons, very rarely some parts of amnion breaks and starts to float in the amniotic fluid where the developing fetus is also floating. These floating strands or tissues or bands from the ruptured amnion thus has an increased chance to entangle around the floating fetus.
At what time these breaks occur in pregnancy plays an important role in determining the severity and the complications it has on the baby. For example, if ABS happens earlier the outcome will be more critical. On the other hand, ABS appearing later in pregnancy may have no significant impact at all.
What Causes Amniotic Band Syndrome?
Amniotic Band Syndrome is not a very common thing to happen to pregnant women and happens to one in many. It has no genetic background as well. Also even though the causes behind the same are not yet known, medical research believes that as mentioned above it initiates with the break up of amnion at the beginning of pregnancy.
The causes for the Amniotic Band Syndrome are as below:
- The amniotic band separates from the outer membrane, the chorion without any injury or bleeding.
- The amniotic band then starts to float in the fluid and surrounds the fetus.
- The amniotic band entangle around the fetus
6 Major Complications Of ABS
Even though Amniotic Band Syndrome is very uncommon, and it can result in fetal deformities, yet it is not without its complications. Every pregnant lady is different and so are the complications and the seriousness. This syndrome can lead to major complications and some of them are enlisted as below:
- In this syndrome, the amniotic bands that wrap the hands, fingers or toes can lead to the amputation thus decreasing the numbers.
- The baby in the womb can be born with clubbed feet. In fact, there is a strong relationship between ABS and clubfoot. It can even cause clubbed hand.
- If the legs and arms get severely constricted, the chances of amputation are greater.
- If the amniotic bands are around the face of the baby, it can give rise to cleft palate. These complications can, however, be cured after the birth of the baby.
- Under severe circumstances, the amniotic bands can even lead to defects in the abdomen and even constrict the blood supply to the main organs.
- The most dangerous complication is when the bands get entangled around the neck or umbilical cord of the baby. If this happens it can lead to fetal death.
How Common Is ABS?
Amniotic band syndrome is rare. Once you take 1200 to 15,000 live births, ABS happens only in one birth.
Managing ABS in Pregnancy
Amniotic Band Syndrome has led to serious complications during pregnancy. The medical practitioner needs to observe the condition very closely and then offer the best remedies for the prevention of any possible or further injuries. This syndrome is very rare but can be treated and managed during pregnancy. The amniotic band syndrome can be treated and managed in the following ways:
- Under a situation when the amniotic band touches the baby but causes no injury, surgery is not recommended.
- If the band is life-threatening for the baby and leads to acute facial deformities, a fetoscopy surgery is recommended.
- Under surgery, a telescope with the dimensions and the size of a pencil is injected in the mothers’ uterus, after which the amniotic band is cut with laser equipment which decreases the pressure allowing the baby to grow naturally and normally.
- This knowledge can further be enhanced by discussing with the doctor, who can suggest what is suitable for the respective mother-to-be and even the family.
Special Considerations During Delivery With ABS
Amniotic Band Syndrome can lead to severe problems and complications. The mothers who undergo es this syndrome in pregnancy needs special care and considerations during the time of the delivery. Enlisted below are some of the important points that need to be borne in mind and the ones that are recommended by doctors are:
- In the case of Amniotic Band Syndrome, a cesarean section is recommended that must be discussed with the doctor beforehand.
- If the prenatal or intensive care reports indicate that the baby is doing fine, one can opt for the delivery at the hospital, yet one should be sure that hospital has all the arrangements that are required by the new-born baby.
- Unless there are no complications, the delivery cannot be induced.
- Delivery can be done earlier only if there is a threat to the pregnancy.
Thus, Amniotic Band Syndrome is a group of genetic defects that happen due to the entanglement of the fetal parts, could be feet, limb, etc. The baby can recover from these by proper treatment after they are born and, in most cases, the complications that arise from this syndrome are not life-threatening. Proper treatment at the right time can lead to improved functions of the deformed parts. One should only be cautious to not left it untreated or it can prove to be troublesome for the baby, mother and could make things difficult for all.