The amniotic fluid plays a major role in supporting the life of the unborn baby in the mother’s womb. It protects the baby and helps in the development of its limbs, muscles, lungs and its digestive system. The amniotic sac carries the amniotic fluid which is first composed of water and later its major substance is the fetal urine.
The baby is able to move around in the womb because of the amniotic fluid. The baby starts to swallow and breathe the amniotic fluid in its second trimester. The amniotic fluid at times measures higher or lower than the acceptable range. When the level of the amniotic fluid falls very low then this condition is known as oligohydramnios.
Cause of oligohydramnios
The levels of the amniotic fluid could fall to very low levels because of the following reasons:
- If the waters get broken
- High blood pressure levels
- Abruption of the placenta
- Urinary-tract or kidney problems or any birth defect
- The condition of pre-existing diabetes
Symptoms of oligohydramnios
You should look for the following signs of low amniotic fluid:
- Fluid leaking from the vagina
- Not gaining sufficient weight
- The baby is growing slower and not at the correct rate
Risks of oligohydramnios
The condition of oligohydramnios could cause the following risks:
If the amniotic levels fall in the second-trimester then this could cause:
- Birth defects
- Premature birth
If the levels of the amniotic fluid fall in the third trimester then this could cause:
- Squeezing of the umbilical cord in labor
- Slow growth of the baby
- A high risk of cesarean delivery
Treatment for oligohydramnios
The amniotic fluid is increased by injecting the pregnant woman with saline into her amniotic sac. This is called amnioinfusion.
What happens depends on the cause and the severity of the condition and the gestational age of the baby. The baby’s and the mothers’ health plays a major role in the treatment.
If the amniotic fluid levels drop in the 36th or the 37th week of pregnancy then the doctor would suggest delivery. If the woman is less than 36 weeks pregnant then the doctor will check the health of the mother and the baby and discuss the cause and monitor the condition using ultrasound.
Does oligohydramnios affect the baby?
This is dependent on the reasons for the low amniotic fluid, how low are the level and the gestational age of the baby.
The low levels of amniotic fluid in the mother’s womb causes issues with the growth of the baby and in the development of its lungs.
Low amniotic fluid in the first trimester or early second trimester will mostly lead to a miscarriage. In serious cases, the baby could be stillborn after 24 weeks.
The most condition of oligohydramnios happens in the third trimester because of the water breaking.
Low levels of amniotic fluid could cause complications with labor. The baby could be in the breech position and not have sufficient space to turn down towards the birth canal. If the water breaks early then this could cause premature labor. During labor, the baby could become distressed. It’s possible that the umbilical cord gets squashed when the baby is being delivered.
(Any health-related information or any medical opinion in the Pregnancy news is collected from secondary sources to give relative and informative enlightenment. The opinions expressed here are the views of the source and do not necessarily show the views and opinions of Healtheoz.)