The amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby in the womb is important to his or her development. When the fluid is low, medical intervention might be necessary. If you have been diagnosed with having low amniotic fluid, here is what you need to know.
What Are the Signs?
If you have oligohydramnios, or low amniotic fluid, you might notice fluid leaking from your vagina. Other signs, such as slow development of your baby and your lack of weight gain, might also cause your OB/GYN to suspect you have low amniotic fluid.
Your OB/GYN can diagnose the condition by conducting a sonogram. During the sonogram, your amniotic fluid levels are measured. The measurements are taken from four areas of your uterus. If the levels are not normal, you likely have oligohydramnios.
What impact low amniotic fluid has on your baby depends on the trimester in which you are. If you are in the first or second trimester, birth defects, miscarriage, or premature birth could occur. In the third trimester, your baby's growth could be impacted and you could experience problems during labor and delivery.
How Is It Treated?
The treatment your OB/GYN recommends depends largely on your overall health and how far along you are. If you are in the third trimester and are relatively healthy, treatment might not be required. In this instance, your doctor would probably require you to come in for examinations more frequently to monitor the baby's progress. If your OB/GYN is concerned about the baby's growth, he or she might induce labor.
However, if you are in the first or second trimester of your pregnancy, your doctor might recommend an amnio-infusion. The procedure involves placing a saline solution in the uterus to help avoid complications.
Your OB/GYN could also prescribe regular use of IV fluids to help increase your levels. How often you have to use the IV fluids depends on you and your baby's condition.
What Can You Do?
Oligohydramnios sometimes is caused by health problems, such as diabetes. If you have an underlying condition, it is important that you take action to control it. For instance, if you have diabetes, take your medications on a regular basis and eat a healthy diet. You also need to carefully monitor your blood sugar levels.
You also should drink more fluids. Talk to your OB/GYN about how much water you should consume on a daily basis to help your condition.