Low levels of amniotic fluid can lead to pregnancy complications and birth injuries, including: miscarriage, pre-term labor, birth defects, brain trauma, and cord compression.
Oligohydramnios, the medical term for having too little amniotic fluid in the womb, occurs in approximately 8% of pregnancies and is most common during the third trimester. For those still pregnant two weeks past their due date, the rate is approximately 12%.
Amniotic fluid plays many very important roles in a healthy pregnancy. Probably the most obvious function it has is to protect the growing fetus from impact that could potentially cause injury. It also works to guard against infection and helps in the development and maturing of the digestive system and lungs. As the fetus takes in the fluid, it helps to mature those critical areas. While anyone can develop oligohydramnios, some individuals are at increased risk of developing the condition. Those with lupus, high blood pressure or diabetes should be closely monitored for low fluid levels. Also, anyone who is pregnant with multiples is at increased risk of having low amniotic fluid over the course of the pregnancy and risking baby brain damage.
Testing for this complication is done through ultrasound. The amniotic fluid in four different sections of the uterus is measured and totaled up. If the total falls between 5 cm and 25 cm, the levels are considered normal, but anything below 5 cm is considered too low. If a pregnant woman is found to have oligohydramnios, drinking plenty of water, eating well and getting a lot of rest have been shown to sometimes help boost levels.
In normal pregnancies, babies naturally regulate the fluid levels by ingesting the fluid and then passing it by urinating it out. If a pregnant woman is found to have low levels of amniotic fluid, it may indicate a problem with the fetus, including: unusually large kidneys, undeveloped kidneys, a blockage in the urinary tract, or a congenital heart defect. Amniocentesis and high resolution ultrasound can help detect these defects. Low amniotic fluid in the first and second trimester is quite rare, but becomes more common towards the end of pregnancy.
Responsibility of the physician.
Oligohydramnios is one of the many possible complications that must be observed during pregnancy and monitored closely for those with specific risk factors. Physicians are charged with this task in order to give the baby the best chance of arriving safely.
If you have a child that has suffered complications or if you miscarried due to low amniotic fluid that was undetected or unmonitored by your physician, we are here to offer a free assessment of your case. We have extensive experience in handling these types of cases, and we never charge you a penny unless we actually win your case. Just take a moment to fill out the contact form found on this page and our team of DFW birth injury attorneys will contact you to advise you of your options. Call Rasansky Law Firm today at 1-877-405-4313 and let us help you seek the justice that your family deserves.