Importance Of Amniotic Fluid During Pregnancy

In your womb, your baby gets his or her all-essential nutrients and oxygen from the placenta and the umbilical cord. However, the amniotic sac and fluid can keep your baby cushioned and absolutely safe.

Do You Know What Else the Amniotic Fluid Does During Pregnancy?

Your little one in the womb grows in the amniotic sac, which is a bag of two membranes known as the amnion and chorion. This sac forms 12 days after you become pregnant. The maternal plasma produces the fluid and passes it on to the foetal membranes. In fact, the amniotic fluid around the baby during pregnancy has many important roles to play:

Protects the Foetus

Amniotic fluid cushions and protects the developing baby inside your womb from external pressures or movement on the abdomen.

Keeps the Temperature Under Control

The amniotic fluid during pregnancy works as a heatproof for the baby cuddled up inside you and keeps the temperature warm.

Helps In the Development of Foetal Lung Development

The baby in your womb breathes, pushes the air sacs open and stimulates its growth. In fact from the 16th to 24th week of your pregnancy, the life you’re nurturing inside goes through the phase of lung development.

Helps In the Development of Foetal Digestive Tract

Your baby develops on a weekly basis. By 5th week the baby’s digestive tube starts forming, and by the 13th week, your little one swallows the fluid. Well in the 13th week only, the meconium develops in the gut. The meconium is the first bowel movement inside the womb, thus proving that foetal digestive system is developing.

Helps In Muscle and Bone Development

As your developing baby swims around in the womb, the amniotic fluid helps in the bone and muscle development of the foetus.

Supports the Umbilical Cord

While the umbilical cord helps the baby to grow, the amniotic fluid protects the umbilical cord, by providing a cushion between the baby and the cord and preventing it from getting squeezed.

What Is the Amniotic Fluid Index In Pregnancy?

The normal index of the amniotic fluid is 5cm to 25cm. Anything less than 5cm is believed to be low amniotic fluid (oligohydramnios). anything more than 25cm is believed to be (polyhydramnios).

A study conducted on 50 healthy women and according to the study, the amniotic fluid index (AFI) measured in cms. It was thus concluded that:

  • At 34 W: 14.59 (1.79)
  • At 35 W: 14.25 (1.57)
  • At 36 W: 13.17 (1.56)
  • At 37 W: 12.48 (1.52)
  • At 38 W: 12.2 (1.7)
  • At 39 W: 11.37 (1.71)

At around the 35th and 36th week of your pregnancy, the level of the amniotic fluid is the highest. During that time, the fluid is around 1 quart. However, once that period is over, your doctor might observe signs of low levels of amniotic fluid.

What Are the Causes and Signs of Low Amniotic Fluid in Pregnancy?

Factors like the puncture of the amniotic sac, placental complications, pregnancy hypertension, diabetes in pregnancy are some of the factors that can give rise to low amniotic fluid in pregnancy. In fact, the symptoms of low amniotic fluid are:

  • You’re not gaining the appropriate weight 
  • The uterus is small in size 
  • Your baby is not moving enough 
  • You’re leaking fluid through the vagina 

What Are the Risks of Experiencing a Low Amniotic Fluid in Pregnancy? 

If you’re diagnosed with low amniotic fluid during the early stage of your pregnancy, the foetal organs might be compressed giving rise to birth defects and there might be an increased chance of miscarriage or stillbirth. However, if you’re diagnosed with low amniotic fluid in the second half of your pregnancy, you might develop complications like: 

  • Preterm birth
  • Intrauterine Growth Restriction 
  • Cord Compression 
  • Meconium-stained fluid and 
  • Caesarean delivery

Are There Ways to Treat Low Amniotic Fluid in Pregnancy?

Well! The assessment of low levels of amniotic fluid depends upon the gestational age. If by chance, you’re not full-term, your healthcare practitioner will monitor you very closely and make you undergo tests like non-stress and contraction stress tests. However, if, by chance, you’re about to complete full-term, there are several natural and medical ways to increase the amniotic fluid.

Drinking Plenty of Water

During pregnancy, staying hydrated creates a lot of difference. In fact, drinking water can increase the levels of amniotic fluid between the 37th and 41st weeks of your pregnancy.

Consume These Fruits and Food to Increase the Amniotic Fluid

Have veggies like cucumber (96.7% water), cauliflower (92.1% water), spinach (91.4% water) and fruits like watermelon (91.5 water), grapefruit (90.5% water) and tomatoes (94.5%).

Do Light Exercise

Just give 30 to 45 minutes to yourself, and include some light exercises in your pregnancy regime, for instance, brisk walking, swimming, etc. 

Don’t forget your prenatal check-ups. After all, low amniotic fluids can be either mild or severe. Along with this, if you want any more information on pregnancy, postparturm, babycare, and the benefits of cord blood banking, follow our blog page.