Amniotic fluid represents some of the weight pregnant women carry around. At 28 weeks, when the amniotic fluid reaches its maximum, there is about 800 ml of it. You'll notice it when your bag of waters breaks! But, what exactly are the functions of amniotic fluid in pregnancy?
Amniotic fluid surrounds a fetus from the very earliest stages of pregnancy, but it evolves quite a big. At first, it mainly consists of water and electrolytes. From the second trimester onward, substances that help the baby grow also float about in the amniotic fluid proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, phospholipids and more.The amniotic fluid actually has many more roles than you might think. Keeping the baby warm, and giving it freedom of movement.
The amniotic fluid also cushions any shocks that could well be harmful for the baby without it... when mom has a fall or some other accident, for instance.But there is more to amniotic fluid than these relatively obvious and practical functions. This amazing substance also plays a key role in the physical development of the baby; surrounded by liquid, her rapidly growing body parts will not fuse together. And, it helps develop the baby's kidneys and swallowing reflexes.
Breathing in amniotic fluid is also important for the proper lung function of a fetus, and it contributes to creating meconium, the first stool to line your baby's intestines.Apart from that, amniotic fluid is now regularly used as a diagnostic tool by doctors. Information about the baby's health, gender, and DNA can be obtained through an amniocentesis. Through ultrasound, the amount of amniotic fluid can tell doctors a lot about the development of the baby too. Both low amniotic fluid and too much amniotic fluid can indicate medical problems.