Amniotic fluid(एमनियोटिक द्रव): What would happen if the fluid is less?

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Dr. Heena Chawla
Gynecology

Amniotic fluid(एमनियोटिक द्रव): What would happen if the fluid is less?

In this video SimpliHealth expert gynecologists Dr. Heena Chawla is talking about Amniotic fluid(एमनियोटिक द्रव) and also she is answering very common questions that people ask like:

  • How important is the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby’s during pregnancy? 
  • What would happen if the fluid is less?

Watery substance surrounding the baby

The amniotic fluid surrounds the baby inside the sac; this fluid helps in the baby’s growth, movement, and bone development. For example, when a baby moves their finger, it doesn’t stick to each other. Instead, they slide so that they don’t stick together..  Because of this, amniotic fluid is essential for the baby’s development.  This fluid plays a vital role in developing the baby’s lungs, it builds immunity and umbilical cord of the baby doest doesn’t get pressed. 

Apart from this, the fluid acts as a shock absorber for the baby, which means if the mother gets some shock, it does not transmit to the baby. So like a shock absorber, it protects the baby from the outside environment. The baby drinks this fluid and passes urine in the same. So it helps in developing the digestive system of the baby. In general, you must have seen that experts mention the ‘amniotic fluid index’ in ultrasound. Experts simply measure the amniotic fluid, and if it is less than 5 cm, or experts merely measure one pocket of this fluid if it is less than 2 cm experts can deduce that the fluid around the baby is also less. What can be the problems if the fluid around the baby is less. 

The baby’s movements are restricted, the baby may develop contractures, it also affects the lung maturation of the baby. The baby doesn’t find enough space to move around in a few cases. In addition, the baby may have fecal distress, and in many rare cases, if the fluid runs out entirely, it may lead to stillbirth or death inside the womb. So many patients come in the OPD and ask 

Why does this fluid get reduced after all? 

There are two reasons for low fluid: 

  1. One is there are reasons related to the mother
  2. The second is related to the baby

Reasons related to mother include blood pressure issues or some have twins or triplet or multiple pregnancies. In these cases also the amount of fluid is reduced.

In many cases, if the pregnancy is going beyond maturity, commonly called post maturity, the amount of fluid decreases. Another reason that is baby-related includes the baby having any chromosomal disability or a genetic problem. Hence, the concentration of liquid drops. Otherwise, if there is a kidney-related problem like the kidney is underdeveloped or there is the formation of a cyst. etc, Hence, all these reasons contribute to reduced fluid in the sac. And sometimes, if there is a problem in all placenta, it leads to a gradual decrease in the sac fluid. 

What do we do now?. What should we do if the water gets low and the ultrasound shows less water?

The first foremost is to increase water intake, especially fluids, like coconut water. Experts especially ask to have coconut water because it is high in potassium, so we must include this in our diet. Other things are lassi or chanchor juices or soup. We must increase our water intake by 3-4 liters, which means one must have at least 12-15 glasses of water. The second thing is one must have a high protein diet; the more diet is good, the more chances of an increase in the fluid. Apart from this, we must include exercise in our diet. The more we exercise, the more the circulation around.

Some doctors may advise some supplements. These supplements help in increasing the fluid around the baby or remain so. The other most important thing is that experts ask the patient to rest and sleep on their left position as much as possible.   One should  add fruits to our diet like watery fruits like strawberries and grapes, which helps increase the concentration of fluid. By taking all these things, the fluid remains around the baby. 

Our efforts are to maintain the amount of fluid around the baby until 36 -37 weeks of gestation. But in many conditions, the amount of fluid starts reducing before time. So in these cases, we need to go for pre-term delivery. Usually, if the fluid is exhausted entirely or there is a minimal amount of fluid left, we need to opt for cesarian deliveries.

Because the amount of fluid the baby has to slide down or according to which the baby can slide down easily is not enough, in such a situation, we have to go for cesarian section delivery. So our experts would like to advise you that please get your ultrasound done from time to time and follow the doctor’s guidelines. In some cases, fluid supplements, in addition to medicines, may need to be given intravenous fluids to increase the amount of fluid in the sac. you must follow your doctor’s advice and take care of yourself during pregnancy.

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