Amniotic fluid is the clear yellow coloured fluid that is found in the amniotic sac. While the baby is in the womb, it is in the amniotic sac (a bag of two membranes in which the foetus grows and develops). This fluid works like a cushion for the foetus. The amount of amniotic fluid is crucial. If the amount exceeds or falls short, it can be detrimental.
Whether it is Oligohydramnios (low level of amniotic fluid) or Polyhydramnios (high level of amniotic fluid) both these conditions can lead to complications for the baby and the mother. However, both high amniotic fluid and low amniotic fluid can be treated with medicines, home remedies, and other treatments, but it is advisable to avoid the occurrence of such conditions. The normal index of amniotic fluid ranges from 8 to 18.
Oligohydramnios occurs when the fluid index drops between 5-6. Low levels of amniotic fluid can affect your baby’s lung, limbs, hands, and feet, and in certain cases, it can also result in a distorted face. Therefore it is highly important to keep the level of amniotic fluid balanced. In case of low amniotic fluid, here are a few tips to increase the fluid levels.
- Water, coconut water, glucose, and fresh fruit & vegetable juices promote the production of amniotic fluid
- Monitor baby’s weight, as low weight can also affect the level of amniotic fluid. Normally, the baby should weigh 2 Kgs in the 8th month
- If your baby is underweight, you should consume coconut water twice a day to increase the baby’s weight
- During the summer season, your body’s water level decreases. To stay hydrated during the warm months, eat plenty of watermelons, and drink water after every half an hour. Make sure that you are urinating after every hour, this helps in preventing urine infection.
On the flip side, when the amniotic fluid index shoots up to 20-24, it causes Polyhydramnios. It occurs when the baby swallows insufficient amount of amniotic fluid or if the expecting mother is diabetic. It can cause premature labour pains, caesarean delivery, placental abruption, postpartum haemorrhage. Here are some ways that can help you decrease high amniotic fluid level.
- In the case of Polyhydramnios, your doctor will certainly prescribe some medicines that can help you bring down the fluid level. However, if the foetus is more than 23 weeks old, these medications should be avoided as they can cause complications
- Another way to balance out high amniotic fluid level is by amnioreduction, a process that is done through amniocentesis. Nonetheless, it is often seen that even after performing amnioreduction, the amniotic fluids build up in the amniotic sac
The ultimate way to reduce amniotic fluid is by delivering the baby