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Most soon-to-be parents are aware that low amniotic fluid can pose risks to both the baby and the expecting mother. If faced with this issue, what steps should a pregnant mother consider? Dive in to gain a deeper understanding.

Understanding Low Amniotic Fluid

Amniotic fluid fills the amniotic cavity in the uterus during pregnancy. Its volume, composition, and source can change throughout the pregnancy.

This fluid serves several essential purposes. It separates the baby from the amniotic membrane surface, preventing malformation from adhesions. It nourishes the baby and also buffers against external pressures, thereby assisting during labor. If a mother faces external impacts, the fluid acts as a cushion, protecting the fetus from direct umbilical cord compression and potential oxygen deficiency. During childbirth, it can also minimize damage to the cervix and vaginal opening.

Using ultrasound, a diagnosis of low amniotic fluid is typically made if the fluid volume is below 300ml.

Reasons for Low Amniotic Fluid

  • Medical Conditions: Diseases such as chronic high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, diabetes, and lupus can contribute.
  • Placental Issues: If the placenta faces problems like partial preterm abruption, it may fail to provide adequate blood and nutrients to the baby, disrupting the circulation of amniotic fluid.
  • Amniotic Membrane Rupture: Even a minor tear can result in fluid leakage. It’s more frequent as delivery approaches. Noticing wet underwear can signal this leakage. Such a rupture can increase the risk of infections as bacteria might find a way into the amniotic cavity. Occasionally, minor ruptures may heal by themselves, especially if caused by amniocentesis.
  • Multiple Births: Expecting twins or more babies can also lead to low amniotic fluid. A specific condition, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, might result in one baby having too little fluid while another has excess.

Addressing Low Amniotic Fluid

  • Hydration: Drinking ample water can temporarily elevate amniotic fluid levels. Pregnant mothers should opt for nutritious beverages and soups. Diuretic foods like watermelon and winter melon, which can lead to water loss, should be limited.
  • Oxygen Infusion: In severe cases where rapid fluid replenishment is essential, oxygen might also be administered due to the possible insufficient oxygen supply to the fetus resulting from low amniotic fluid.
  • Boosting Blood Volume: Some expectant mothers might face anemia or low blood levels. If the mother’s blood volume is low, it can affect the baby’s blood volume, thus impacting amniotic fluid circulation. Including blood-boosting foods in the diet can help both with anemia and low amniotic fluid levels.

Literature References: 1, 2

Joy of Life

Author Joy of Life

Joy of Life is a compassionate surrogacy agency committed to creating life, fostering joy and nurturing dreams. We are experts in our field, with team members boasting extensive experience in the clinical, psychological and legal aspects of surrogacy. But more than that, we are a family — a community bound by the shared purpose of helping others realize the joy of parenthood.

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