low amniotic fluid

Low Amniotic Fluid during Pregnancy – What do you need to know?

“I was really worried when I had my ultrasound done at 36 weeks. The doctor doing the ultrasound told me I had low amniotic fluid levels and my baby’s health could be at risk” said Kavita as she began recounting the story of her delivery.

But when she met with Dr. Rinku Sengupta she was told there was no reason to worry. “Kavita did have moderately low amniotic fluid levels,” Dr. Rinku said “but considering we discovered this so close to her due date and her baby was doing well, we knew they would be fine.”

And yet, if the low amniotic fluid – also known as oligohydramnios– had been detected in Kavita’s second trimester, she would have required more attention.

What is amniotic fluid and why is it so important?

low-amniotic-fluidAmniotic fluid is the water around your baby which cushions your baby in the womb and allows for their proper growth and development. Low amniotic fluid early in pregnancy could be a significant concern as it can hamper your baby’s lung development.

Most times, however, low levels of amniotic fluid are picked up incidentally when women are well into their third trimesters, just as it happened with Kavita.

We checked with Kavita for what she needed to do about her low fluid levels. “I was almost a little surprised at how little I had to do to manage my condition. Dr. Rinku told me to keep myself hydrated all the time and keep a watch on my baby’s movements. She also asked me to make sure I came for my remaining appointments on time.”

The amniotic fluid begins to decline naturally close to the due date. If there is concern about the low fluid levels, then we may induce labour but a caesarean is typically not required.

Kavita finally went into spontaneous labour at 40 weeks and delivered normally. Despite the concern about low amniotic fluid in the third trimester, all she needed was good hydration and regular check-ups.