Low levels of amniotic fluid during pregnancy can pose serious, life-threatening consequences for both the mother and her unborn child. In some cases, the condition may lead to oligohydramnios which is more severe and extreme.
According to American Pregnancy.org, “8% of pregnant women can have low levels of amniotic fluid, with about 4% being diagnosed with oligohydramnios.”
Some of the possible health hazards of having low levels of amniotic fluid during pregnancy include birth defects, maternal complications and even miscarriage.
How important is amniotic fluid?
Amniotic fluid is a sac which surrounds the fetus inside a mother’s womb. Needless to say, it serves several important roles in the growth and development of the unborn child. Amniotic fluid is essential in protecting the fetus from injuries and infections.
Similarly, it facilitates the proper development of a fetus’ muscles, limbs and bones. It also helps in maintaining a warm, normal temperature inside the mother’s womb. In addition, amniotic fluid also indirectly helps in controlling the amount of oxygen supplied to the fetus.
Causes of low amniotic fluid levels
Justmommies.com says that in most cases, the exact cause of having low levels of amniotic fluid is unknown. Nevertheless, the pregnancy-support website lists some of the possible causes of having low levels of amniotic fluid.
Such risk factors include leaking membranes or premature ruptures, placental problems, birth defects specifically those relating to kidney and urinary tract abnormalities, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome and post-term pregnancy.
More so, maternal complications such as diabetes and hypertension can also lead to low levels of amniotic fluids during pregnancy.
Risks of having low levels of amniotic fluid
As mentioned above, having low levels of amniotic fluid can lead to birth defects, maternal complications and miscarriage among others. Furthermore, it can also heavily impact the growth and development of the fetus.
Having low levels of amniotic fluid during pregnancy may disrupt the proper development of several organs including the lungs. American Pregnancy.org also noted that low levels of amniotic fluid may affect the development of the fetus’ digestive system.
Treatments of amniotic fluid deficiency
Treatments of amniotic fluid deficiency differ based on gestational age. Hence, it is imperative to first consult your doctor prior to taking any medication.
Maternal rehydration has shown to improve the level of amniotic fluid in a pregnant women’s body. Hence, doctors recommend drinking more than the patient’s average water intake. Injection of fluid before the actual labor can also improve the condition.