To learn more about the effects of low volumes of amniotic fluid, read Oligohydramnios, or Low Amniotic Fluid Volumes.
How is oligohydramnios diagnosed? The doctor (or health professional) that is monitoring your pregnancy checks the size of your stomach each appointment. The size should match the number of weeks in centimetres. For example, 28 centimetres at 28 weeks pregnant. The fundal height indicates the baby’s growth and the amount of amniotic fluid. If your fundal height is lower than the age of your pregnancy, an ultrasound might be necessary to check to see if the baby’s development and amniotic fluid are within norms.
If oligohydramnios is diagnosed, increased monitoring will take place to prevent complications associated with the issue. Your appointments will be closer together, increased ultrasounds, control monitoring of fetal activity, and you will have more blood tests.
Risks for the Baby
A lack of amniotic fluid can lead to the following situations:
- Malformations or defects
- Delayed growth
- Less absorption. The baby will move less, and the mother will feel more pain when they move
- It’s sometimes necessary to give birth prematurely
- A caesarean section may be required
- Possible fetal distress postnatal, often at the respiratory level
There are no specific treatments for oligohydramnios. However, health professionals might try to deal with the potential causes to stabilise the situation and prevent the amniotic fluid from diminishing further.
Some medical procedures can add physiological liquid inside the amniotic sac, but it depends on each case.
Pre-term childbirth may be necessary to prevent risks.
In conclusion, you have learned about low amniotic fluid volumes, but don’t be too worried about it. If your fundal height is right during your appointments, there are no issues. Additionally, if you are faced with the situation, the right people will be there to help you and answer your questions. You won’t face it alone!
The Baby Expert