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Amniotic Fluid

What is amniotic fluid? Amniotic Fluid is, the fluid surrounding a fetus within the amnion. During pregnancy in the woman’s uterus is an amniotic sac, which contains amniotic fluid with the growing baby. 

The amniotic fluid is the protective liquid that helps keep the baby warm. 

The liquid also provides lubrication for the fast growing fetus; it keeps the baby parts from growing together. The fluid also provides helps the baby from injuries or any blow to the stomach.

Amniotic Fluid Composition

The amniotic fluid is present in the amniotic sac.  The fluid is there to protect the growing fetus and aid in its development during the pregnancy. 

The fluid is produced from maternal plasma, which then goes through the fetal membranes. In the fetal membranes they go through osmotic and hydrostatic forces.

Amniotic Fluid Origin And Production

The fluid at first is produced by the mother’s placenta in the first trimester.  When the baby’s kidneys become ready they take over.  

Every time the baby breathes it swallows the fluid and then excretes it again as urine.  The urine that makes up the fluid is clean by the mother kidneys.

What Are The Functions of Amniotic Fluid

The amniotic fluid plays a major role in the developing of the fetus.  There are many functions the fluid takes part of:

  • Lets the baby move inside the uterus
  • Avoids the baby to stick toe the amniotic sac
  • Helps develop proper lung growth
  • Permits the digestive system to develop properly
  • Helps to keep a persistent temperature for the baby
  • Supports the proper bone and muscle development
  • It protects the baby from any infection
  • It helps the umbilical cord from becoming compressed
  • Helps the baby from any blow to the stomach
  • It helps the respiratory development

Amniotic Fluid Levels

The amount of fluid levels increases until the beginning of the third trimester. By week 34-36, the fluid level is at the peak of about a quart of amniotic fluid. Some women experience oligohydramnios, when there’s too little fluid in the pregnancy.

An ultrasound is the best way to find out if your amniotic fluid levels are high or low.  The fluid will be measure in four different sections of your uterus. By adding them together they will be able to measure your fluid intake.

Complications Associated With Amniotic Fluid

One of the most common complications associated with having too much amniotic fluid is called polyhydramnios.  The women uterus stretches and it places pressure on the diaphragm of pregnant women.

This usually leads to harsh breathing problems and sends them to premature labor.

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