A Lagos-based Consultant Gynaecologist, Dr Ayodele Ademola, has advised pregnant women to undergo regular amniotic fluid checks to avoid complications. Ademola, also the Medical Director, StrongTower Hospital and Advanced Fertility Centre, Lagos, spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
According to him, some levels of complications can occur depending on the amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus. Ademola said that low amniotic fluid could lead to greater risks of complications during pregnancy, saying,
“it can lead to premature foetus, deformities and even death of the baby”.
“However, high amniotic fluid may only make the stomach look bigger or lead to early delivery.”
The gynaecologist described amniotic fluid as a protective fluid, which serves as a cushion for the growing foetus, and facilitates the exchange of nutrients, water, and biochemical products between mother and foetus.
It reflects the baby’s urine output, which is an essential gauge of the baby’s wellbeing; provides a cushion that protects the baby from injury, allows growth, movement and development during pregnancy.
It also contains important nutrients, hormones and antibodies; it helps protect the baby from bumps and injury; it is vital for healthy foetal development.
It keeps the umbilical cord from being compacted between the baby and the uterine wall, and helps to maintain constant temperature in the womb,
The consultant gynaecologist said further that chronic high blood pressure, use of certain medications and ruptured foetal membranes could predispose pregnant women to low amniotic fluid.
He also attributed the condition to multiple foetus and peeling away of placenta from the inner wall of the uterus, either partially or completely before delivery.
“Some health conditions in babies such as urinary tract and kidney problem, genetic disorder, as well as limited growth can cause the condition.
“So, we advise pregnant women to drink more water as a way of treating low amniotic fluid condition, as this will increase the level of liquid in the body,”
the expert said.
He further suggested the use of amnion fusion by putting water into the uterus and early delivery as ways of dealing with the condition and saving the life of the baby.