Low Amniotic Fluid Can Lead to the Development of Cerebral Palsy
Amniotic fluid is a liquid that surrounds a baby in the uterus during pregnancy. It plays a crucial role in protecting the baby against birth injuries in general, and infection in particular. The fluid also helps them from getting hurt if there is a blow to the womb and the lungs and digestive system in infants to develop and mature. Naturally, there are consequences if there is too little fluid in the womb (a condition called oligohydramnios).
Are Low Amniotic Fluid Levels Normal?
According to one study, around eight percent of pregnant women experience oligohydramnios during pregnancy. It is also known that women past their due date are more-likely to have low levels of amniotic fluid. How badly the condition affects the baby depends on the amount of the fluid and the stage of the pregnancy. Usually, low fluid is observed in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Some of the most common causes for a low level of amniotic fluids in the body are ruptured membranes, problems with the placenta (e.g., abruption or previa), abnormalities in the fetus and transfusion syndrome, which often happens in the case of twins.
Birth Injuries Caused by Oligohydramnios
The primary concern with low amniotic fluid is that it restricts the lungs of the baby from growing. You need to keep a close watch on the development of the baby. The heart rate should be monitored on a regular basis. Ultrasound scans should also be done to assess the progress. Not following these procedures could also mean premature labor, which could further lead to a birth trauma or cerebral palsy.
A lower fluid level could also mean that the baby is delivered in an unusual position, such as the buttocks appearing first instead of the head. This happens because there is not enough fluid to allow them to attain a correct position before birth.
Low levels of amniotic fluid could also mean that there is inadequate protection to the umbilical cord, which could lead to fetal asphyxia via a nuchal cord. The condition could cause distress to the baby and result in permanent brain damage.
Although oligohydramnios is rare, they can have serious repercussions when it comes to the health of your child. The consequences could be grave and may even result in a miscarriage.
Whatever the condition, your doctor needs to make an assessment and draw a conclusion. It may be safer, at times, to choose an early delivery. The doctor may also recommend a Cesarean delivery to minimize chances of a baby injury.