Pregnancy is the most special period in any woman’s life. It requires immense strength and courage to go through it and deliver a healthy baby. Sometimes things don’t always go right. During these times the most important thing for any couple would be to understand the situation fully without any dilemmas and doubts. Quite often when a woman has her pregnancy scans, things are said which are not always conveyed or perceived in the correct way. This causes confusion and fear. Certainly, the most special period of a woman’s life is not to be spent like this.

Reduced Fluid Around The Baby- Facts To Understand By Dr Vidhya Morrthy

I take this opportunity to discuss more common pregnancy related complications on ultrasound scan, that usually causes confusions and concerns. This week lets talk about the fluid around the baby. 

What Makes The Fluid Around The Baby?

The baby in the mother’s womb lives in a bag of fluid called the amniotic fluid. This fluid around the baby is nothing but the urine produced by the baby.  Yes… the baby drinks the same fluid and then passes it out as urine and this happens in cycles throughout day and night. 

What Causes Reduced Fluid Around The Baby?

When you are told that the fluid around the baby is less than normal, there can only be three reasons for it.

1. The bag of amniotic fluid had ruptured, and the fluid had drained knowingly or unknowingly.

2. The baby is producing less urine because the blood flow from the mother to the baby is less, compromising the blood flow to the kidneys. Usually these babies are small and sick. They need care and attention by a foetal medicine specialist.

3. There is an underlying problem in the kidneys or the bladder of the baby. A thorough check up of the renal tract by the specialist is essential.

The crucial element is to have a thorough evaluation with an expert to diagnose the correct reason for the reduced fluid.

Can I Have A Normal Delivery After The Diagnosis Of Reduced Fluid?

In a well-grown baby, reduced fluid closer to the delivery date could either be because of the water leak prior to labour pains or a sign of the placenta getting tired. In both the situations if the baby is moving well and circulating blood well to the brain and the heart there is absolutely no need to panic or rush. These babies usually do very well. 

Women can have a planned induction of labour to facilitate normal delivery. Reduced fluid around a well-grown and healthy baby is not a reason or an indication for caesarean section on its own.

Can I Have A Normal Delivery If I Leaked Water Much Earlier Than My Delivery Date?

In this situation a thorough assessment of the mother and baby’s wellbeing is essential as there is a small risk of infection. If this is excluded during regular follow up and with no other restriction to natural birth, labour can be induced after 34 weeks of pregnancy.

I hope this was useful. I’ll meet you next week with another interesting topic to discuss mommies at the bump talk!!


Dr Vidhya Moorthy MBBS, MRCOG, Diploma in Foetal Medicine (FMF, London). Consultant Foetal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Birthright by Rainbow Children’s Hospital, Guindy, Chennai.