Having an Obstetrical Ultrasound: Drink a Glass of Water

Amniotic fluid is an interesting fluid in oh so many ways. It begins as an excretion of mom's fluid seeping across the circulation into the uterus, then once there is a fetus in the uterus it seeps fluid through it's skin to create the fluid, and lastly, after about 20 weeks when the skin is too thick through the natural maturing process of skin codification the fluid is mostly made of fetal urine. Yet, we always call it amniotic fluid, and many of the properties remain remarkably the same. None the less, it's always been considered one of the better signs of the health of the mom and the health of the baby. And we mostly measure that health by the absolute amount of fluid in the uterus. That fluid can be measured by saying "yep there's a lot" (literally the look of it), or the actual 4 quadrant vertical deepest pocket of fluid. Sonographers do both when doing your ultrasound. But since some of mom's fluid still creeps into the mix, moms who are run down or dehydrated may show low amniotic fluid around the baby. In actuality it was shown in 2002 by Hofmeyr and Gulmezoglu that giving mom 2 liters of water at least 2 hours before her obstetrical ultrasound the measurements of fluid were more accurate and the moms were less likely to get a diagnosis of low fluid (oligohydraminos)


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