What Causes Low Fluid At 34th Weeks Of Pregnancy: Ways to Increase Amniotic Fluid

Amniotic fluid is clear pale yellow fluid present in amniotic sac contained in uterus of a pregnant woman. Amniotic fluid is produced once the amniotic sac develops after 12 days of conception. Amniotic fluid is extremely important during pregnancy. This fluid acts as a cushion for the fetus inside the womb.

It keeps the baby warm, acts as a lubricant, promotes in development of kidney and lungs as well as helps the baby to move about freely in the womb once the fetus starts growing. The fetus actually breathes and swallows fluid which is excreted through urine. Low level of amniotic fluid can pose great risk for the developing fetus. In medical terminology it is called oligohydramnios. Low level of fluid can occur during any time of pregnancy, but mostly it occurs in the third trimester, mainly at 34 weeks of pregnancy.

Causes of low level of fluid level at 34 weeks of pregnancy:

There are several causes for low level of amniotic fluid in third trimester.

Doctors are able to measure the amount of fluid present in the amniotic sac. The most common method used is called amniotic fluid index (AFI). Amniotic fluid index is a major deciding factor that helps in prediction of pregnancy outcome. If AFI exhibits the level of fluid level less than 5 cm or if the fluid is less than 500 ml at 34 weeks of pregnancy, then oligohydramnios is possible. Factors that may increase the risk of low fluid level at 34 weeks are as follows:

  • Rupture of membranes: It is one of the most common causes. The sac that holds fluid is called membrane. A small tear in the membrane can cause leakage of fluid. It may come out from the vagina, but the leakage is extremely small so that pregnant woman may perceive it as vaginal secretion. During pregnancy as such secretion in vagina increases. Slow leakage can cause low level of fluid. In some cases there may be sudden breaking of the membrane which is called water breaking. In both scenarios, there is increased risk of infection.
  • Birth defect: The fetus swallows amniotic fluid and it is passed out as urine in the amniotic sac. However, if there is some developmental defect in kidney or urinary tract of the fetus, urine may not be able to pass out. This will cause low level of fluid.
  • Problem in placenta: If for any reason nutrients that are required by the fetus for its growth are not passed on properly from the placenta, the recycling process of fluid may get hampered.
  • Maternal diseases: If mother is suffering from hypertension, diabetes, dehydration, preeclampsia it can affect the level of fluid in the womb.

How to increase amniotic fluid at 34 weeks of pregnancy:

Oligohydramnios in 34 weeks of pregnancy can increase the risk of preterm birth. It may also increase the risk of cord compression and meconium staning at the time of delivery. Hence necessary measures are important to prevent complications. Treatment of low level of fluid will depend on the whether the mother is nearing to full term. In case if the pregnant woman is not yet near to full term, the doctor will closely monitor the level. Certain tests are performed to monitor the activity of fetus. In case if it is close to full term the doctor may recommend delivery through cesarean section. There are certain medical ways that may help to restore the amniotic fluid to its normal level if in case it is absolutely necessary. Some pregnant women are admitted in hospital for administration of intravenous fluids.

Certain home measures may also help to increase the level at 34 weeks.

  • Drink at least 8 to 9 glasses of water in a day.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that are high in water content. Cucumber, celery, radish, spinach, cauliflower, watermelon, grapefruit, strawberries, cantaloupe etc are rich in water content.
  • Avoid certain herbal preparations that can increase dehydration. They may increase urination.
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Exercise regularly such as walking, swimming, or water aerobics.
  • Sleep on left side as blood flows more efficiently when you lie on left side.