This article will talk about the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby in the amniotic sac, sometimes called the membranes. The first question is why does the baby swim in a pool in its mother’s uterus?
In this article:
- The role of amniotic fluid
- Oligohydramnios, or low amniotic fluid volume
- How is oligohydramnios diagnosed?
Imagine how your baby would develop if it weren’t surrounded by water. How could their limbs grow if they couldn’t move? Rather than a baby, it would be a lump of skin!
The membranes, commonly called the amniotic sac, plays an essential role during pregnancy. This membrane originates at the edges of the placenta and will contain both the baby and fluids. The quantity of the amniotic fluid will vary from one woman to another, but it should increase as the pregnancy progresses. By term (around 37 weeks) it should read about 1 litre (1000 ml) of liquid. It will then gradually diminish to 700-800 ml until delivery.
The membrane will break either on its own or with assistance when you give birth to your baby. This liquid environment is your baby’s home for several months, and serves many purposes.
The roles of amniotic fluid
- It keeps the baby in an environment where the temperature is warm and stable
- Softens blows and generally protects the baby
- Hydrates the baby and collects its urine, maintaining a balance
- Allows the baby freedom of movement
- Protects the baby from potential outside infections
- Acts as a lubricant during the baby’s descent during birth
- Helps the development of the baby’s lungs and kidneys
To continue reading, go to Oligohydramnios, or Low Amniotic Fluid Volume.