Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler gave birth on July 15 to her miracle baby girl. She survived a fatal pregnancy, being affected by a rare disorder. Doctors say she is likely the first baby to survive this health condition. Babies affected by Potter syndrome die in the womb or shortly after birth.
Fatal pregnancy due to Potter syndrome
Potter syndrome or Potter sequence is a condition created by lack of amniotic fluid. Insufficient amniotic fluid causes a disruption in organ formation, particularly kidneys and lungs. The baby is therefore unable to breathe and suffers from kidney failure after birth.
Insufficient amniotic fluid can be caused by a number of health conditions. It is usually associated with kidney problems, such as policystic kidneys or absent kidneys. These are caused by genetic abnormalities. Since amniotic fluid is mostly comprised of fetal urine, the kidney problems lead to lack of fluid. In turn, it creates problems with lung development.
Jaime Herrera’s Beutler’s little girl has absent kidneys, which led to the subsequent health problems. She was told by doctors that the baby will not survive the fatal pregnancy and that the only solution is an abortion. But the parents chose to fight for their baby’s life.
How did the baby survive the fatal pregnancy?
In order to help the baby survive, doctors used an experimental procedure called amnioinfusion. They injected saline solution into the womb in order to develop the baby’s lungs. The parents were amazed by the changes, as the baby responded to the treatment.
They said: “With each infusion we watched via ultrasound as Abigail responded to the fluid by moving, swallowing and ‘practice breathing'”. The treatment was done for a period of five weeks, with one injection per week. The experimental treatment may help other babies suffering from the same condition, which affects quite a number of them.
The baby was born two months premature, but is in stable condition. She can breathe on her own, something that is quite a miracle given the fatal pregnancy.
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The outlook for fatal pregnancy baby
The kidneys performs many important functions, including regulating blood pressure, filtering the blood and producing urine. The baby girl need dialysis on a regular basis in order to perform some of the kidney functions. But in the long run, surviving with no kidneys is unlikely. She will need a transplant at one point, as the press release states.
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