Low fetal health. A decrease in fetal well-being can happen for several reasons. Fetal distress can occur during the pregnancy or during labor. The warning signs are a decrease in the usual daily level of movement, greenish material present in a sample of the amniotic fluid, a decrease in the heart beats on routine check or during a labor contraction.
Archaic term. Fetal distress is not ascertainable prospectively, which is why this term has become obsolete. It has been used to successfully ruin careers of competent obstetricians and should not be used in medical records anymore. One should instead describe the actual findings of fetal surveillance, rather than loosely interpreting them in a cavalier fashion that neglects the complexities of fetal physiology.