everyone knows, water surrounds the baby when it is inside the mother’s womb.
The water inside the womb is known as amniotic fluid. A baby developing in the uterus is cushioned
and protected by amniotic fluid. Usually, it is colourless and clear, or light
yellow. Maintaining a stable water level during pregnancy is very important.
Read on further to learn about what amniotic fluid is, its functions, how to
find out the normal levels and its causes for abnormal levels.
What is amniotic fluid?
A substance that resembles water and surrounds the fetus in your uterus is called amniotic fluid. During pregnancy, the fetus develops inside an amniotic sac that is filled with amniotic fluid. Further, it contains fluids, hormones, antibodies, and nutrients necessary for keeping the fetus safe and healthy. Breakage of amniotic fluid nearing your due date may indicate a sign of labour
What is the purpose of amniotic fluid?
The functions of amniotic fluids are
- Keeps the fetus safe from infections.
- Aids with the fetus’s mobility and provides cushioning.
- Helps with the growth of the fetus’s bones and muscles.
- Prevents the compression of the umbilical cord.
- Aids in the development of the fetus’s respiratory and digestive systems.
- Maintains the body temperature of the fetus.
- Shields the baby from movement caused by you (such as a fall or abrupt impact).
How is the amount of amniotic fluid calculated?
Normally, ultrasound is used to measure amniotic fluid. Following the measurement of amniotic fluid pockets in particular regions of the amniotic sac, the overall volume of fluid is computed. Before 28 weeks of pregnancy, a normal measurement of amniotic fluid is 2 to 8 centimetres (cm).
Meanwhile, after 28 weeks, the normal amniotic fluid measurement should be 5 to 25 cm. A value less than 5 cm indicates you have a low amniotic fluid level. Once you reach your due date (40 weeks), your amniotic fluid levels gradually start to decline, peaking between 34 and 36 weeks(tips for painless delivery).
What causes the low amniotic fluid level
Low amniotic fluid can be caused by several factors. Among them are:
- Problems with placenta
- Exceeding the due date by two weeks.
- Early rupture of membranes
- Mother’s health condition (gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, obesity etc)
- When a baby has medical issues, particularly those involving the kidneys, which prevent them from producing adequate urine.
What causes the high amniotic fluid level
- It is a rare condition caused by many factors. Some are
- A birth defect that affects the fetus’s capacity for swallowing.
- Gestational diabetes.
- Having transfusion-related syndrome in identical twins (TTTS).
- Issues with the fetus’s digestive system.
- Placenta-related problems.
To sum up
Thus, water level during pregnancy plays a vital role in safeguarding your baby. Moreover, your doctor will check your amniotic fluid level regularly. Meanwhile, if you experience fluid leaking from your vagina which is colourless and odourless, contact your doctor immediately.