Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Low Amniotic Fluid and Dehydration

We ran a story on the news a few weeks ago about summer heat leading pregnant women to have low amniotic fluid levels. I drink a ton of water, but I am wondering now if I was one of those women!

My amniotic fluid level got down to a 6 at one appointment. If it gets to a 5, they usually deliver the baby because it's dangerous. Last week I went in and my level was up to an 11-which is typical for 37 weeks gestation. I am probably drinking double the amount of fluid that is recommended. All I do is drink water these days (and go to the bathroom.) It is very time consuming. I am wondering if I just needed more water than what I thought. My Doc says the the low levels around 30-33 weeks may be why I am dealing with a breech baby right now. That's usually the time they turn. I just thought I should throw this out there in case anyone ends up in the same situation.

Pregnant women have a higher incidence of insufficient amniotic fluid levels (oligohydramnios) in the summer months due to dehydration, according to a study conducted by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU).

The retrospective population-based study was published in the July issue of Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics. The main objective of the study was to determine whether the summer season is a risk factor for oligohydramnios, by comparing the frequency of loss during the summer months versus its frequency during the rest of the year.

In the study at Soroka University Medical Center in Beer-Sheva, Israel, the researchers evaluated pregnancies of patients with oligohydramnios that delivered from May to August during the years 1988-2007.

After excluding other causes of fluid loss, such as premature rupture of membranes, intra-uterine growth restriction or malformations, the study determined that higher rates of oligohydramnios were found in the summer months as compared to the rest of the year.

During the study period, there were 191,558 deliveries of which 4,335 were diagnosed with idiopathic oligohydramnios. Of these, a proportionally higher number, 1,553 deliveries (36 percent), occurred during these four summer months, while 2,782 deliveries occurred during the other eight months of the year (64 percent).

"It is important for pregnant women to drink appropriate amounts of water specifically in the summer -- about 10 glasses per day -- and avoid direct sun, not only for the health of the mother, but also in order to avoid fetal ," explains Prof. Eyal Sheiner of the Faculty of Health and Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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