When a woman is pregnant, the uterus forms an amniotic sac that produces amniotic fluid. This fluid protects the baby while it is in the womb. Oligohydramnios is a condition that can develop when there is a decrease in the volume of said fluid. This causes problems for the pregnancy; Therefore, it is very important to bring the volume of the amniotic fluid back to normal through medical and home methods. Read step 1 to learn how.
Method 1 of 3: Increase Amniotic Fluid with Medicine
Step 1. Keep in mind that treatment is based on the stage of your pregnancy
The recommendations that your doctor gives you will depend on the stage of pregnancy you are in. Typically, your doctor will recommend one of the treatments mentioned in this section, in addition to rehydrating at home, which is mentioned in the second section of this article.
- If you still have time to deliver, your doctor will monitor the amniotic fluid volume very closely. He will do tests, such as the stress test or the contraction tolerance test, to monitor the baby's activity. Similarly, your doctor will likely suggest one of the treatments mentioned in this method.
- If you are about to give birth, your doctor may recommend giving birth by cesarean section since having a low volume of amniotic fluid just before giving birth can be dangerous for the baby and for you.
Step 2. Receive an injection of amniotic fluid
During this procedure, your doctor will inject the filtered fluid back into the amniotic sac using a needle. This will help you because it will increase the volume of the amniotic fluid in your uterus. This procedure is very similar to amniocentesis (a way to check the volume of the fluid), except that instead of removing the fluid, the doctor injects it back into the amniotic sac.
This procedure is often used as a short-term solution because the fluid tends to leak out again after a few weeks. However, some doctors choose to use it because it helps them discover the cause of the decreased amniotic fluid
Step 3. Receive the fluid through an IV
Some women are admitted to hospitals to receive extra amniotic fluid through IV therapy if natural rehydration methods (such as drinking lots of water) do not help increase the fluid. If you have tried to rehydrate at home without variations, you will likely receive an IV (intravenous injection) to stay hydrated.
- Once the volume of the amniotic fluid normalizes, you will be discharged.
- Remember that if you have trouble staying hydrated, sometimes IV treatment will continue until you are ready to deliver.
Step 4. Use a catheter to increase the volume of the amniotic fluid
Amnioinfusion is when a Ringer's lactate solution or regular saline is instilled into the amniotic sac through a catheter. Doing so increases the volume of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby and provides a cushioning environment for the baby and the umbilical cord.
The amount of saline to be injected will depend on the volume of the amniotic fluid
Step 5. Talk to your doctor about the possibility of placing a shunt in your body
Shunts are used to move the fluids in your body from one side to the other. In this case, a shunt diverts fetal urine into the amniotic fluid cavity if the reason for the low volume is due to fetal obstructive uropathy (kidney problems that decrease this fluid).
Method 2 of 3: Increase Amniotic Fluid Treating It From Home
Step 1. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water every day
One of the easiest ways to increase amniotic fluid is to make sure you are always hydrated. When you increase the amount of water in your body, the amniotic fluid also increases.
Drink water throughout the day and aim for at least 8-10 glasses
Step 2. Eat fruits that contain water
An extraordinary way to stay hydrated while gaining nutrients is to consume fruits and vegetables with high concentrations of water. As mentioned above, when you increase the hydration of your body, you increase the amount of amniotic fluid. Here are some good fruits and vegetables to eat when you need to hydrate:
- Vegetables: Cucumber (96.7% water), American lettuce (95.6%), celery (95.4%), radishes (95.3%), green peppers (93.9%), cauliflower (92, 1%), spinach (91.4%), broccoli (90.7%) and baby carrots (90.4%).
- Fruits: Watermelon (91.5%), tomatoes (94.5%), carambola (91.4%), strawberries (91%), grapes (90.5%) and melon (90.2%).
Step 3. Avoid taking herbal supplements that can dehydrate you
Some of these supplements can act as diuretics that cause you to urinate more. The more you go to the bathroom, the more likely you will become dehydrated. When you are concerned about the volume of the amniotic fluid, it is very important to stay hydrated. Some of the herbal supplements to avoid are:
Dandelion extract, celery seeds and parsley
Step 4. Avoid consuming alcohol
If you are pregnant, you should not drink alcohol at all because it is not good for your baby's health. Also, alcohol can dehydrate you and decrease the volume of amniotic fluid.
Step 5. Do light exercise often, as long as your doctor hasn't asked you to rest
Do exercises that do not require you to carry weight for at least 30 to 45 minutes a day. Exercising promotes blood flow in different areas of the body. If there is an increase in blood circulation in the uterus and placenta, then there will also be an increase in the rate of amniotic fluid and the rate of fetal urine production (the amount your baby urinates). The more urine your baby deposits in the amniotic sac, the more volume of the amniotic fluid. Some of the exercises that you should consider are:
- Practice swimming or water aerobics. These are the best exercises one should do during pregnancy because it takes all the weight off the baby.
- Walk or go light hiking.
Step 6. Lie on your left side when you want to relax
If your doctor orders you to rest (referred to as complete rest), you should lie on your left side when you can. When you do, your blood flows smoothly through the blood vessels in the uterus and allows your baby's blood flow to come at a regular rate, which can cause the blood flow rate to increase.
Step 7. Talk to your doctor about changing your prescription medications in case you are taking ACE inhibitors
ACE inhibitors are drugs that help lower high blood pressure by stopping the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II. These drugs are generally good to take. However, you should not take them during pregnancy because they can decrease the amount of amniotic fluid your body produces.
Method 3 of 3: Understand what oligohydramnios is
Step 1. First, you must understand the function of amniotic fluid
The most important function of this liquid is to keep your baby safe while in the womb, providing cushioning for your baby. In addition, it has other functions including:
- Keep the baby warm.
- Act as a lubricant. Sometimes babies are born with webbed fingers and feet due to insufficient amniotic fluid
- Promote proper development of the lungs and kidneys.
- Allowing the baby to move freely, allowing him to exercise his limbs and remain strong.
Step 2. Remember the symptoms of oligohydramnios
This condition occurs when the amniotic fluid is very low (specifically below 300 ml). If you are concerned about having this condition, see your doctor. If you are concerned about developing this condition in the future, it helps to know the symptoms. Some include:
- Leakage of amniotic fluid
- Smaller abdomen than it should in your gestation period (how long are you pregnant?)
- Feel the baby move less
- Less urine than expected when you go to the bathroom
- Lack of amniotic fluid visible on ultrasound
Step 3. Be aware of the risk factors that can lead to low amounts of this fluid
There are some conditions or factors that can predispose you to these amniotic fluid-related problems. Some of the common reasons include:
- Your baby is small for your gestation period
- Having high blood pressure during pregnancy (a condition known as pre-eclampsia)
- Partial or complete detachment of the placenta from the uterine wall before giving birth. This condition is known as "premature placental abruption."
- Being pregnant with twins. If they share a single placenta, the amniotic fluid can sometimes become unbalanced. This happens when one twin receives more blood than the other through the placenta.
- Having certain types of medical conditions such as lupus.
- Having exceeded the gestation period. If your pregnancy lasts longer than 42 weeks, you are at high risk for low amniotic fluid volume due to decreased function of the placenta. This fluid begins to decrease in the 38th week of pregnancy.
Step 4. You should know that generally low amniotic fluid volume can only be detected by ultrasound
The actual volume of such fluid cannot be safely measured directly; therefore, it can only be diagnosed with ultrasounds that check the amniotic fluid index.