Amniotic Water Facts – During pregnancy, the mother will experience many complaints, such as dizziness, nausea and so on. Even during pregnancy, a woman will experience changes in her body. In addition to an enlarged stomach, there will be formation and amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid itself will form about 12 days after conception. Amniotic fluid is formed certainly not without function. The function of amniotic fluid for babies is very important.
You may only know or hear the amniotic fluid during childbirth. However, do you know where the amniotic fluid comes from and what does it do for the fetus? So, to get insight, here we explain the facts about amniotic fluid that you must understand.
Amniotic Water Facts
For pregnant women it is important to know the facts of amniotic fluid starting from its definition, function, problems that occur in amniotic fluid and so on. Come on, look at the following.
What is amniotic fluid?
Amniotic fluid is the fluid that protects the baby while it is still in the mother’s womb. This fluid also supports the growing fetus while in the uterus. For the fetus, the function of amniotic fluid is very important.
Initially, amniotic fluid is formed from the water that the mother produces. At about 20 weeks of gestation, fetal urine replaces amniotic fluid. The fetus swallows the amniotic fluid, then excretes it again as urine. The fetus swallows it again to keep the amniotic fluid volume stable. However, the amniotic component is not the only fetal urine, as it consists of several other components such as hormones, nutrients and antibodies to fight infection.
Composition of Amniotic Water
Amniotic fluid is formed from hormones, nutrients and cells that form immunity to support the development of the baby in the womb. Meanwhile, at 20 weeks of gestation, fetal urine dominates the composition of amniotic fluid.
During pregnancy the volume of amniotic fluid will continue to increase. Even so, when the womb reaches 38 weeks, the volume of amniotic fluid will decrease to prepare for birth.
Well, here is a normal estimate of amniotic fluid:
- At 12 weeks gestation as much as 60 mL
- At 16 weeks gestation as much as 175 ML
- At 34 to 38 weeks gestation as much as 400-1,200 mL
The volume of amniotic fluid itself can be too little or too much. This situation can certainly harm the fetus. It is important to always consult a doctor to find out the normal volume of amniotic fluid.
Amniotic Water Function
Amniotic fluid has an important function. Here are the functions of amniotic fluid that you should know.
Provide Space To The Fetus
With the presence of amniotic fluid it will be possible for the fetus to have room for movement. If the fetus moves frequently, it is a sign that the nutrients and oxygen it needs are sufficient.
Maintain Ideal Temperature
The amniotic sac and amniotic fluid function to maintain the ideal temperature so that the fetus feels comfortable. Usually compared to the mother’s body temperature, the amniotic fluid temperature is slightly higher, around 37 degrees Celsius.
Helps Bone and Muscle Development
In the womb, the movement of the fetus will help build and increase the strength of the bones and muscles of the little one.
Detecting Any Genetic Abnormalities
In certain circumstances, genetic testing may be required with a sample of amniotic fluid. Where the examination is carried out with a sample of amniotic fluid is referred to as amniocentesis. This is done because the amniotic fluid contains fragments of fetal skin cells. Where this examination would be better if done when the second trimester of pregnancy entered.
Helps Lung Development
The way the fetus breathes in the womb is certainly different from the way we breathe. Fetal breathing depends on the mother’s breathing for oxygen. Between 10 and 11 weeks of gestation, the fetus inhales a small amount of amniotic fluid, but its movements are like swallowing. This will help the development of the fetal lungs. While the gestational age is approaching 32 weeks, the fetus will begin to make breathing movements, a combination of swallowing movements with lung contractions.
Protects Fetus From Collision
The amniotic fluid will protect the fetus from impact, shock or pressure that occurs in the mother’s stomach.
Helps the Development of the Digestive System
Amniotic fluid has an important role for the development of the fetal digestive system. If the fetus has difficulty swallowing amniotic fluid, the volume of amniotic fluid will be too much which will increase the risk of complications in pregnancy.
Protects the Fetus from Infection
Amniotic fluid can help protect the fetus from infection by stopping the growth of certain bacteria.
Problems that occur in the amniotic fluid
The amniotic fluid will generally break as you approach labor. When the fetus is ready to be born into this world, amniotic fluid will flow from the vagina. You will experience regular, tight contractions. In some cases women have an abnormal amount of amniotic fluid, either too much or too little. Well, here are some of the problems that occur in amniotic fluid:
Too Much Amniotic Water
In medical terms, this condition is called polyhydramnios. This is a situation that is often experienced pregnant mother. In some pregnant women with this condition can give birth to healthy babies. But even so, you should not ignore this situation.
Polyhydramnios will increase the risk of breech babies, even if they are born prematurely or prematurely. Apart from the fetus, the mother will also get the impact, namely the risk of bleeding after giving birth. Generally, the cause of too much amniotic fluid is not known with certainty. However, it is known that there are several factors related to the amount of amniotic fluid, such as the following:
- The existence of congenital abnormalities, including the fetus’s ability to swallow. The volume of amniotic fluid will be maintained when the fetus swallows the amniotic fluid, then urines. If the fetus is unable to swallow due to a congenital abnormality, the amniotic fluid will accumulate.
- Pregnant women have diabetes. If glucose levels are high, amniotic fluid will build up.
- Infection on pregnancy.
- The baby’s heart is having problems.
- The mother and the rhesus fetus are different, this situation sometimes makes the fetus anemic.
- Pregnant women with twins with twin to twin transfusion syndrome. This will make amniotic fluid increase in recipient twins, as well as decreased amniotic fluid donors.
In order to be detected early, you can regularly check your doctor for pregnancy. If you feel a tight, large stomach and shortness of breath, you should immediately check with your doctor.
Little Amniotic Water
Oligohydramnios is a state of little amniotic fluid. This situation is usually difficult to predict. However, this situation is vulnerable to experience at the end of pregnancy. Less or little amniotic fluid is a sign of possible problems with fetal development or placental failure. Several factors can cause this situation such as:
- Gestational age more than 41 weeks of age
- Pregnancy complications such as pregnant women experiencing problems with dehydration, preeclampsia, high blood pressure and diabetes
- During pregnancy, the mother takes certain drugs
- Amniotic membrane
- The fetus has problems, such as genetic disorders
- The placenta detaches from the uterine wall
To find out this situation, an ultrasound can be done to check the amniotic fluid volume.
Abnormal Amniotic Water Color
Approaching the time of delivery, the amniotic fluid can break on its own. The amniotic fluid that comes out will normally be cloudy white or yellowish and odorless.
It’s just that in some cases sometimes there is a problem with the color of the amniotic fluid. You need to be vigilant and notify the doctor if the amniotic fluid that comes out is greenish in color, smells bad and is mixed with a lot of blood abnormalities in the fetus and the presence of amniotic infection. This situation should not be tolerated and requires immediate treatment.
Premature rupture of membranes
Most pregnant women experience rupture of membranes before 37 weeks of gestation. If the water breaks, the earlier the condition of the mother and fetus will be more serious. This condition is called premature rupture of the membranes. Usually the cause is rarely known, but several factors can trigger premature rupture of membranes.
- Smoking habits in pregnant women
- The mother has an infection in the uterus, vagina, or cervix
- My mother had done surgery or a cervical biopsy
- In previous pregnancies, pregnant women have experienced this condition
If you feel the water breaking prematurely or there is water flowing from the vagina either gushing or slowly, you can absorb the fluid with a cloth. Then you can smell the aroma, you should know that amniotic fluid does not smell like urine. If it is confirmed that it is not urine, then you can seek medical help immediately. Don’t leave this situation.
Characteristics of Normal Amniotic Water
The function of amniotic fluid will be beneficial for the baby if the amniotic fluid is normal. However, if the amniotic fluid is not normal, it will interfere with the health and development of the baby you are carrying. Normal amniotic fluid usually has the following characteristics:
- Has no smell
- It’s warm
- The liquid is clear or slightly yellowish in color, has white patches and / or has blood or mucus
Meanwhile, if the amniotic fluid is damaged it will usually be cloudy, the color will be brownish or greenish
Causes of Damaged Amniotic Water
Damaged amniotic fluid can be caused by many factors such as 40 weeks of pregnancy, infection or baby having problems. Brownish or green amniotic fluid is usually the cause of meconium, which is a baby’s first stool. Babies will pass their first stool after birth. However, in this case the baby has passed the first stool while he is still in the womb.
If the baby inhales meconium or meconium it gets into the lungs baby through the amniotic fluid it will cause serious respiratory problems or is called meconium aspiration syndrome, especially if the meconium in amniotic fluid is thick. Where this situation can occur before, during or after birth.
Meconium can be inhaled partly or completely while still in the womb or after birth. This will make the meconium clog the baby’s breathing, making it difficult for the little one to breathe. If more meconium is inhaled by the baby, the baby’s condition will get worse.
It is important to recognize the signs of abnormal amniotic fluid so that you can get help immediately to prevent more severe complications. Therefore, it is important to regularly check your pregnancy at an obstetrician.
These are the facts of amniotic fluid that pregnant women must understand, starting from its definition, function, to problems that occur in pregnancy. Hope it is useful.