Oligohydramnios is a condition that is caused due to deficiency in the amount of amniotic fluid. This amniotic, which bathes and cushions the growing foetus in the uterus encourages foetal lung growth, maintains a constant temperature in the womb and protects its against physical trauma and infections. Oligohydramnios occurs most commonly when a pregnancy goes past it’s due date.
What Causes Oligohydramnios?
One of the most common causes is rupture of membranes which could happen if the water bag broke. Other possible causes include high blood pressure, diabetes, placental abnormalities and underlying health problems in the baby.
What is the Normal Level of Amniotic Fluid?
Normally the level of amnionic fluid varies but generally gradually increases with gestational age and is the maximum during 36-37 weeks of pregnancy. The volume varies between 800 ml to 1 litre. After that it begins to decrease slowly until you give birth.
How Can You Tell If You Have Low Amniotic Fluid?
During your regular check-ups, while examining the size of your belly, if your doctor feels that your baby is not big enough for that particular stage of pregnancy, she may suspect oligohyramnios.
Some other warning signals include:
- High blood pressure
- If your previous baby had low birth weight
Can Low Levels of Amniotic Fluid Affect My Baby?
If the amniotic fluid decreases during the first trimester or early part of the second trimester, it increases the risk of miscarriage. However, this is a very rare possibility.
If this problem is occurs during your second trimester, one of the main worries is that it could restrict the growth of the baby’s lungs. The doctor will keep a close tab to monitor the baby’s heart rate and regular ultrasound scans may be required to keep a close watch on the baby’s growth and development.
If this gets detected in the third trimester, your doctor will keep watch on the fluid levels to make sure its not affecting your baby’s growth.
If it happens during birth, it can lead to complications as the baby’s movements may be restricted during labour.
How to Cope with this Condition?
Plenty of rest, eating a well-nourished healthy diet and drinking lots of fluids are the best natural remedies to cope with this condition.
What are the Chances of Oligohydramnios Recurring During a Second Pregnancy?
The risk of oligohydramnios occurring during a subsequent pregnancy is based on the reason for the low fluid In the first place. If some of your health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure resurface, the risk of oligohydramnios is high in a subsequent pregnancy.
RH Negative Disease
This mainly has to do with the amount of protein surrounding the red blood cells, which constitutes the Rh Factor. When a pregnant woman lacks this protein, she is Rh Negative. If the mother is Rh Negative and her baby is born Rh positive, she starts to build antibodies against her baby which is not good. This is why a test is done when a woman is pregnant, to see if she is building up antibodies against her baby. RhoGAM is a medication given to the pregnant mother around the 28th week to make sure that she doesn’t build up antibodies against her child. This medication is then repeated again when the baby is born only if the baby is born Rh Positive.
Group B Streptococcus
Pregnant women carrying bacteria can be very harmful to their unborn babies. Bacteria effected mothers can unknowingly transmit Group B Strep or Group B Streptococcus to their children at childbirth. A newborn child could die of this disease and if the baby did survive, he or she could be left mentally retarded, speech or hearing impaired, or even have vision problems. This disease can be found out through tests before the baby is born and can be treated before and after childbirth.
Tips & Tricks
If you water bag breaks, stay calm and call your gynaec. Wear a sanitary pad to protect your clothes and on the way to the hospital, use a plastic sheet to prevent the car seat from getting soiled.
Before buying a home pregnancy test kit, be sure to check the expiry date. For accurate results, take the test after one week after the missed period; testing very early, can give you negative results.
Dry fruits are a rich source of iron and contain high dietary fibre. They also meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy