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In this condition, there is too little amniotic fluid around your baby during pregnancy. This occurs in only about 4% of pregnancies.
Your baby needs amniotic fluid to grow. This watery fluid is inside the amniotic sac (membrane). It’s sometimes called the bag of waters. Your baby stays in this fluid for all of pregnancy. It helps to cushion and protect your baby. Amniotic fluid also helps your baby’s lungs, kidneys, and gastrointestinal (GI) tract grow.
The fluid is made by your baby’s lungs and kidneys. Your baby swallows the fluid and passes it out as urine. The waste is taken away through your placenta.
Pregnant women normally have about one-half to 1 quart (500 ml to 1,000 ml) of amniotic fluid. Too much or too little amniotic fluid can cause problems. These issues can affect how your baby develops. They can also cause pregnancy complications. Or the amount of amniotic fluid may be a sign of another issue.
This condition may happen for several reasons. It may be due to not making enough fluid. Or it may be caused by problems that lower the amount of fluid. Oligohydramnios may be due to the following:
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each pregnancy. They can include:
The symptoms of this health problem may be like symptoms of other conditions. See your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your healthcare provider will look at your health history. He or she will also give you an exam. The provider may spot this condition on an ultrasound during pregnancy. He or she will measure pockets of fluid to check the amount.
The ultrasound can show how well your baby is growing. It can also show the structure of your baby’s kidneys and urinary tract, and show urine in your baby’s bladder. You may need a special type of ultrasound (Doppler flow study) to check blood flow through your baby’s kidneys and the placenta.
The goal of treatment is to keep you pregnant for as long as it’s safe. Treatment may also make you more comfortable.
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, pregnancy, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Treatment may include:
Your baby needs amniotic fluid for his or her lungs to develop. Too little fluid for a long time may cause abnormal or incomplete development of your baby’s lungs. This is called pulmonary hypoplasia.
Too little fluid may also keep your baby from growing well. This condition can also put pressure on the umbilical cord. This can cause your baby to get his or her first bowel movement (meconium) in his or her lungs.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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