Amniotic fluid is produced to protect your baby and support their development of muscles, limbs, lungs, and digestive systems. However, there is some case that the level of amniotic fluid of a mother may be lower than usuals. If the fluid level is too low, it may lead to some serious complications. So to help you understand more about this complication, here are the things you should know about low amniotic fluid levels.
How To Tell If You Have Low Amniotic Fluid Levels
The condition that a woman has a really low level of amniotic fluid is called oligohydramnios. About 8% of pregnant women have low amniotic fluid levels, of which about 4% are diagnosed with oligohydramnios. It can occur at any time during pregnancy, but it is most common in the last trimester Doctors can measure the amount of fluid through several different methods, the most common being an evaluation of amniotic fluid index (AFI) or amniotic sac depth measurement. At 32-36 weeks gestation, you may be diagnosed with the oligohydramnios if AFI shows that:
– your amniotic fluid level is lower than 5cm
– there is an absence of a fluid pocket 2-3 cm in-depth,
– the volume of amniotic fluid is less than 500mL
If you are past your date by two weeks or more, there is a chance that you have low amniotic fluid levels since fluids can decrease by half once you reach 42 weeks gestation. Oligohydramnios can cause complications in about 12% of women who go past 41 weeks of pregnancy.
What Makes Your Amniotic Fluid Levels Low
Different factors lead to this kind of condition. The most common reason is birth defects. As your baby’s urinary system and kidneys may develop well or the urine pathway is closed, they will not be able to maintain the mechanism of swallowing water – urinating as usual. Therefore, the amount of fluid produced will be lower. Having a problem in the placenta may also be a reason. If the placenta does not provide enough blood and nutrients to the fetus, your baby may stop recycling fluid. On top of that, the premature rupture of the membranes can cause the fluid to leak out and lead to amniotic fluid exhaustion.
Your health will also affect fluid levels. Maternal problems such as dehydration, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, diabetes, and chronic hypoxia can lower amniotic fluid levels. Some medication including those that manage high blood pressure may also cause abnormalities in the fluid levels
A postdate pregnancy (one that goes over 42 weeks) can have low levels of amniotic fluid, which could be a result of declining placental function.
The Risk Of Oligohydramnios.
Amniotic fluid is essential for the development of muscles, limbs, lungs, and the digestive system of the fetus. During the second trimester, babies begin to breathe and swallow the fluid to help their lungs grow and mature. Amniotic fluid also helps your baby develop muscles and limbs by providing plenty of space for your baby to move. Having oligohydramnios may cause different complications to your baby and your health as well. The risks related to gestational age. Low amniotic fluid levels usually develop in the latter part of the third trimester, although it can happen earlier in pregnancy.
If it is detected in the first half of pregnancy, complications can be more serious. Your baby may have compression of organs resulting in birth defects. Furthermore, it can increase the risks of miscarriage or stillbirth.
If it is detected in the second half of pregnancy, complications may include Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR), premature birth, and complications during childbirth.
What Should You Do If You Have Low Levels Of Amniotic Fluid
Although it is hard to prevent oligohydramnios, you can work with your doctor to manage your medications and any conditions linked to low amniotic fluid. Regular checkups will allow your doctor to measure your abdomen and make sure there’s enough fluid for your baby. So make sure that you keep up your prenatal appointments for the best care. You should maintain a healthy diet and a reasonable resting lifestyle. Keeping yourself hydrated will lower the risk of low fluid levels.
Now you have our guide for low amniotic fluid levels. We hope that you and your baby will be safe and healthy. Do you have any recipes to keep hydrated during pregnancy? Please share it with us in the comments!