Amniotic fluid is derived from the amniotic fluid, fetus and the mother body. And if you get any abnormalities from the amniotic fluid, it is dangerous.
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Low amniotic fluid can seriously affect the health of the fetus, so it is essential to identify the cause of this condition early to make appropriate treatment options.
Amniotic fluid is a colorless liquid made of water, fetal skin cells, and fetal waste, and is contained within the amniotic sac or "bag of waters" that surrounds your baby. This buoyant fluid not only protects and cushions your baby, it helps your baby grow uniformly, helps bones and muscles develop, allows your baby to move within the uterus, and keeps the walls of the amniotic sac from sticking to your baby. Your baby also breathes this fluid in and out while still in the womb, helping his lungs to grow. By the end of your pregnancy, there is approximately one quart of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby.
For the first four months or so of your pregnancy, the placenta produces amniotic fluid; but after your baby's kidneys start to function, they take over amniotic fluid production for the remainder of the pregnancy. The fluid is constantly circulated as your baby "breathes" and swallows it and then excretes it as urine. However, amniotic fluid is not urine as we know it; the majority of your baby's waste is actually removed through the placenta and is then filtered by your kidneys.
An excessive amount of amniotic fluid is called polyhydramnios, and is often associated with a multiple pregnancy (twins or triplets), congenital anomalies, or gestational diabetes. An abnormally small amount of amniotic fluid is known as oligohydramnios, and may the result of a postdate pregnancy, ruptured membranes, placental dysfunction, or fetal abnormalities.
Many women believe that their water will break just before going into labor, signaling its onset; but this is usually not the case. In fact, only 10 percent of pregnant women's water breaks before their labor begins. Most women's water doesn't break until they are at the hospital in active labor. Indeed, it can occur anytime from the onset of labor to birth and sometimes the doctor must manually break the sac.
When your water breaks, you might notice anything from a slight dampness or small trickle of water, to a gush of fluid from your vagina. The fluid should be clear and non-odorous. If you suspect your water has broken, call your doctor and report the color, odor, quantity of fluid, and time of the break. If your water breaks or develops a small tear before your baby is ready to be born, it can cause serious complications. Premature Rupture of Membranes, or PROM, can cause infection, premature labor and birth. In some cases, however, the sac heals itself and the pregnancy can progress until full-term.
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What is the role of amniotic fluid?
Amniotic fluid has a vital role in the life and development of the fetus. It is the perfect environment for the baby thanks to the rich nutrition, ability to regenerate and strong exchange.
In the early stage of pregnancy, it helps to nourish the embryo. During the growing of the fetus, the amniotic fluid has the effect of protecting the fetus from bumps, traumas, infections and helping the fetus to develop harmoniously balance.
During labor, the amniotic fluid helps the mother’s cervix to open well, the vaginal lubrication in the amniotic fluid helps the fetus release more easily.
What is the average amniotic fluid level?
Under normal conditions of pregnancy, amniotic fluid volume of 10 weeks after pregnancy is about 30ml. And it is about 1000ml in the weeks 34th to 36th. After 40 weeks, it will reduce to 800ml.
In some cases, the volume of amniotic fluid will be significantly reduced, even to 5-10ml. And it will cause amniotic fluid deficiency or low amniotic fluid (Oligohydramnios). If the ultrasonography concludes that the amniotic fluid index measured in 4 amniotic fluid compartments is less than 5cm in the last three months of pregnancy, it is called Oligohydramnios.
How to know if amniotic fluid is low or not?
When the amniotic fluid is lacking, the mother often does not have any apparent symptoms. You can only feel the movement of the fetus reduces, and your abdomen does not enlarge. And there are the following levels of amniotic deficiency:
- Medium amniotic fluid deficiency: amniotic index of 5-7 cm
- Severe amniotic lack: amniotic index of 3-5 cm
- Amniotomy: amniotic index less than 3 c
The assessment of amniotic weakness is closely related to the health prognosis of the fetus. If you got an amniotic deficiency in the first three months, the risk of miscarriage is up to 80%. If you are lack of amniotic fluid in the middle three months, the fetus has a high risk of congenital disabilities. And in the last three months, the embryo will get malnutrition.
Low amniotic fluid, what to do?
In the first three months
There is no specific treatment for this case. The optimal method now is to try to keep the fetus developing for more than 35 weeks, by advising the woman to lie on her left side, to control the accompanying conditions. Besides, you should provide adequate nutrition to improve uterine circulation. If you get a severe amniotic deficiency, you should consider terminating the pregnancy if it comes from the mother or the embryo.
In the middle three months
In this case, you should find out the reason for the situation, especially the pathology of the fetal urinary tract aplasia. Once the risk of major malformations and severity is determined, you should choose to terminate the pregnancy.
In the last three months
Pregnant women need to lie down, drink an average of 3 liters of water a day or need to be hospitalized for infusion to increase blood flow to the uterus. Pregnant women also need to measure the amniotic fluid index 1-2 times/ week regularly.
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