Amniotic fluid is an extremely important liquid fluid in pregnancy, which surrounds the fetus and cushions it. Find out what it is and what its main functions are.
There are many new terms with which the mother will have to familiarize herself throughout the gestation to understand and understand as much as possible that her pregnancy is going normally and healthy.
In each medical consultation the specialist will recognize and measure the head, abdomen and femur of the fetus and of course, the amount of amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby. This fluid is a light-colored fluid that develops around the second week after conception within the amniotic sac that surrounds the baby.
Measuring the amount of amniotic fluid that the sac contains is important to rule out complications such as oligohydramnios and polyhydramnios that have to do with the defect or excess fluid that may be inside the amniotic sac or bag.
During the first trimester, the amniotic fluid is made up of the mother’s blood plasma with proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and phospholipids, electrolytes and urea, and as the baby’s urine develops, it will become part of that fluid.
What is amniotic fluid?
Amniotic fluid consists of a liquid fluid that surrounds the embryo and later the fetus, cushioning it inside the so-called amniotic sac. It is fundamental and very important, since in addition to cushioning the baby, it helps him to move inside the wall of the uterus without precisely these adjusting too much to his body.
As we indicated previously, after fertilization, about two weeks after fertilization occurs, the amniotic sac begins to grow and fill, mainly with water. Then after 10 weeks, the fluid contains lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, electrolytes, and urea. All these substances help the development of the fetus.
What is the function of amniotic fluid?
The function and work exerted by the amniotic fluid for the development of the fetus is essential, it allows the baby to move freely within the bag, acting as a shock absorber against any blow or sudden movement, it helps him develop the lungs properly, maintains his body temperature And of course, it feeds it by providing it with ions and proteins.
The amount of amniotic fluid that is generated increases in week 34 of pregnancy, with an average of 800 ml and decreases from week 38 until reaching about 600 ml in week 40.
When the moment of childbirth comes, many mothers experience the rupture of the waters, the amniotic fluid comes out of the womb and that is when it is necessary to go to the hospital normally, its color should be yellowish or transparent indicating that everything is going well, but if it is accompanied by blood or green color is essential to go to the hospital urgently.
Its importance in performing amniocentesis
Thanks to the amniotic fluid, the specialist can determine if there are complications or malformations in fetal development, if so, the amniocentesis test allows us to know if there are problems with the health, development and sex of the fetus.
In fact, amniocentesis consists of a test or study that allows collecting information about the development of the baby , usually carried out in order to determine if it presents any genetic condition or disorder or a chromosomal abnormality, as for example it could be the case of the syndrome of Down.
This test is carried out especially when the pregnancy is between weeks 16 and 22, and in general it is a study that tends to be carried out when there is a greater risk that the baby may suffer from a chromosomal problem or genetic. The reason is clear: it is an invasive test that carries a small risk that a miscarriage may occur.
On the other hand, we must also list other reasons why amniocentesis tends to be performed regularly. For example, to diagnose the possible existence of an intrauterine infection, to determine if the baby’s lungs are mature enough (in case the pregnant woman is at risk of having a premature birth, or if it must be early), and to monitor the well-being of the fetus in case of blood sensitization (a condition that occurs when the mother’s blood type is different from that of the baby).