Water world (amniotic fluid)

The first element with which the baby gets acquainted is water, because in the mother's belly the baby swims in the amniotic fluid. This habitat fully meets its needs and gives important information about its health.

Thanks to amniotic fluid (they are also called amniotic fluid), the future baby is warm, quiet and calm. The temperature of the water is 37 ° C, they absorb damages well and drown out external noise. Since the fetal bladder is hermetic, microbes from the external genitalia do not enter it. In addition, in the amniotic fluid there are immunoglobulins that protect the little man from possible troubles well. In addition, in the amniotic fluid, the baby can swim a lot, and this well trains the muscles.

The smell of childhood

The amniotic fluid is formed by sweating blood plasma from the blood vessels of the mother and urine secreted by the baby. In late pregnancy, the kidneys and lungs of the baby begin to take part in the production of the amniotic fluid. By the end of the period its quantity reaches 1-1.5 liters, and every three hours it is completely renewed.

Analysis of amniotic fluid makes it possible to make sure that the baby does not have genetic anomalies.

The amniotic fluid is almost 97% water, in which the most diverse nutrients are dissolved: proteins, mineral salts (calcium, sodium, chlorine). In addition, it can detect skin cells, hair and fragrances - alkaloids. There is an opinion that the smell of amniotic fluid is similar to that of mother's milk, which allows a newborn baby to accurately determine where the mother's breast is.

A familiar fragrance

Thanks to the amniotic fluid, even before the birth, the future baby gets acquainted with many aromatic substances. That is why in the West in some maternity hospitals, newborns do not even wash their hands so they can suck their fingers, "flavored" with amniotic fluid, to the smell of which they are so used to.

Starting the system

Thanks to the amniotic fluid, many vital functions begin to function in the child. As the baby swallows the liquid and processes it, the work of his kidneys starts (in the baby's bladder, amniotic fluid is detected already at the 9th week of pregnancy). Later, he begins to "inhale" the fluid, making the first and very important exercise for the lungs. During labor, the lungs contract, the remnants of amniotic fluid leave them, and right after that the baby makes his first breath.

Due to the fact that the child is always in amniotic fluid, a white greasy coating appears on his skin, the so-called original grease. During childbirth after the rupture of the bladder, fluid enters the birth canal and flushes them, which helps the baby move forward. If the baby lies with his head down, at the beginning of the birth only those waters are poured, which are in front, while the others protect him further, but go out together with the appearance of the child in the light.

A lot or a little?

All that is related to the condition of the amniotic fluid is very important for the health of the unborn baby. If they become too little or too much, this can affect its development.

The volume of fluid depends on the characteristics of the organism of the future mother. Usually, this index varies between 1 and 1.5 liters, and with the approach of childbirth decreases and by the 37-38th week reaches 800 ml.

If the amniotic fluid is too small, this may indicate that the mother has gestosis, hypertension, chronic inflammatory diseases, and the baby's future may have congenital kidney disease. As for polyhydramnios, it is associated with genetic diseases, Rh-conflict, inflammation of the membranes, and sometimes occurs in women waiting for twins. Make an idea of ​​the number of amniotic fluid obstetrician-gynecologist can during the examination of the future mother, probing her stomach, and more accurate information about this gives ultrasound.


This study of the color and amount of amniotic fluid using a special device amnioscope. The greenish hue of the liquid indicates a chronic lack of oxygen in the child (hypoxia), and yellow - that the baby's condition has passed a critical point and he needs to appear urgently.

The need for amnioscopy occurs at the end of pregnancy, if doctors need to find out how the baby feels, for example, when its expectation is delayed or if the mother has illnesses (gestosis and others) that can seriously affect his health.


Every fifth woman has leakage of amniotic fluid before the rupture of the fetal bladder. When the amniotic fluid begins to leak, it seems to moms that they did not have time to reach the toilet (so as not to make a mistake with the conclusions, strain the muscles: the flow of urine can be stopped by this effort, and the amniotic fluid - no).

Because of the leakage of the amniotic fluid to the child, an infection can penetrate, it is necessary to inform the doctor about it. He will take a smear from the cervix to the cells of the amniotic fluid, and then decide how to proceed.

If such a situation occurs on a term of up to 34 weeks and the child has not yet matured lungs, doctors will prolong pregnancy and accelerate the maturation of the lungs with drugs. If the leakage of amniotic fluid is accompanied by an infection: the temperature rises, the blood test and vaginal smear have many leukocytes, and the rate of erythrocyte sedimentation (ESR) accelerates - the woman will begin to prepare for childbirth.

There is an assumption that in the near-fetal fluid there are substances that give a signal for the onset of labor, - true, while scientists can not say this for sure. Serious examination

To carefully study the composition of amniotic fluid, doctors are helped by a special study - amniocentesis. During this procedure, the amniotic fluid is taken for analysis with a fine needle through a microscopic puncture in the abdomen. The study is conducted after 14 weeks of pregnancy to study the chromosomal set of the child (thus you can find, for example, Down's disease) and to identify some other problems: for example, the severity of Rh-conflict or malformations of the nervous system, kidneys, lungs. Often amniocentesis is prescribed in the event that the result of ultrasound and blood tests (prenatal biochemical screening) inspires doctors to fear. It is recommended for future mothers of mature age, because the risk of the occurrence of Down's disease increases every year, and after 35 years - especially quickly.

Amniocentesis is carried out under the supervision of ultrasound, which means that the child is not threatened. Nevertheless, the risk, although very small, still remains: 0.5-1% of operations can trigger an abortion. That is why amniocentesis is not performed in case of problems with the course of pregnancy (for example, the threat of interruption) or chronic inflammation.

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