When a woman becomes pregnant, many changes occur within her body. This article describes amniotic fluid and its importance to the developing fetus.
Amniotic fluid begins to form within the pregnancy after the first 12 days following conception. It is a clear/yellow fluid that has many functions. As the baby grows, the fluid increases. During the first 18 weeks of pregnancy the mothers body produces it. After 18 weeks the baby produces it. Naturally, the amniotic fluid protects the developing baby like a cushion for it. However, amniotic fluid also helps regulate the baby’s temperature. This fluid also contains antibodies which help protect the baby from infection.
As the baby grows and develops, so do its lungs. The baby begins to expand and contract its lungs, creating a breathing motion. This exercise helps the baby to swallow the fluid and excrete it back into the gestational sac! This motion can actually be seen during an ultrasound. Amniotic fluid also helps the baby move around quite easily which helps its muscles and bones develop properly.
Amniotic fluid in pregnancy is an essential part of pregnancy, not just “a bag of water” as it can be called.
Lisa Lanza, RDMS, First Choice Women’s Resource Centers Jersey City, Montclair, Morristown, Newark and Plainfield, NJ 973-538-0967
Source: Medical News Today. com. , Clinical Sonography A Practical Guide Second Edition Roger C. Sanders
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