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What is early diastolic notch in the fetus?

Q: I am 24 weeks pregnant. In the recent ultrasound (doppler study), both the arteries showed early diastolic notch. When consulted, the doctor told me not to worry but it makes me worried whether it is some defect in the fetus. Please explain what is early diastolic notch? How can this be improved and what precautions do I need? Is a flight or train journey harmless?

A:The early diastolic notch refers to a pattern of blood flow in the fresh-blood vessels that carry blood from the mother to her uterus. It reflects the efficiency of the supply system between the mother and the baby. Persistence of this notch after 24 weeks of pregnancy can predispose the pregnancy to some medical conditions that would come up in these pregnancies as time goes on. Fortunately these can be monitored and treated. Also, they may not happen in every case. These conditions include high blood pressure, fetal growth restriction, low birth weight, a higher chance of a Caesarean section, a need for premature delivery and a longer stay in the nursery for the baby. From time to time your doctor will frequently examine you, prescribe additional tests and suggest medication and life-style changes to ensure a healthy outcome for you and your baby. This is a screening test that helps doctors to identify patients that need extra attention in pregnancy and child-birth and is certainly no cause for alarm for you or your baby. It is safe to travel by air, rail or road at 24 weeks of pregnancy.

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