What is amniotic fluid ?
Amniotic fluid is a colourless liquid that surrounds the developing baby in your uterus.
Where it comes from ?
During your first trimester (0 to 12 weeks), the placenta, amniotic membranes and your own circulatory system will produce fluid. At this stage, amniotic fluid is mostly made up of water.
As your baby develops, he or she will begin to swallow the amniotic fluid, filter it through his or her kidneys, and pass it as urine. Amniotic fluid is constantly being recycled. Excess fluid is absorbed through the amniotic sac or via the umbilical cord.
What does it do ?
Amniotic fluid plays a key role in your baby’s development:
- It helps to protect and cushion your baby inside the amniotic sac
- It maintains a constant temperature around your baby
- It protects both your baby and your uterus against infection
- It helps your baby’s lungs, kidneys and digestive system develop
- It contributes to muscle and bone development by allowing your baby to move around the womb
Loss of amniotic fluid
Often referred to as “water breaking”, most women will have a spontaneous and natural rupture of membranes just before or during labour. When this happens, the amniotic fluid will leak out.
About one pregnant woman in ten will have what is called a premature rupture of membranes, or PROM. This is when the water breaks a bit earlier than expected in the pregnancy. If you are unsure whether you are leaking amniotic fluid, you may use AL-SENSE™ or contact your doctor.
Importance of knowing if you are leaking amniotic fluid
If you are leaking amniotic fluid, it means that the amniotic sac is ruptured. This can increase the risk of infection to you and your baby, as well as put you at a greater risk of premature delivery.
If you are unsure whether you are leaking amniotic fluid, you may use AL-SENSE™ or contact your doctor. When it has been confirmed that you are leaking amniotic fluid, your doctor will take the necessary steps to ensure you and your baby stay healthy.
Using an AL-SENSE™ panty liner will allow you to easily detect amniotic fluid leakage when you experience unidentified vaginal wetness. An amniotic fluid leak should be reported to your doctor immediately.
How to identifying leakage
You may feel some wetness or lose some fluid during your pregnancy. It may be hard to distinguish between vaginal discharge, urine or amniotic fluid (if your water breaks), and misinterpretation is common.