Amniotic fluid has several important functions!
If we fall, it provides a protective cushion. Since your baby first breathes and swallows this fluid, it helps the development of his or her lungs and gastrointestinal tract. The expanding fluid also helps puts pressure on the uterus to grow, and it also gives room for your baby to practice movements and exercise those growing muscles. We can also use this fluid to do certain prenatal genetic tests, such as an amniocentesis.
Since the production of amniotic fluid is tightly regulated by your baby, the placenta, and many hormonal factors, measuring the amount of amniotic fluid can be done as a part of fetal monitoring to ensure your baby is doing alright in utero. This is sometimes done in certain high-risk pregnancies.
Reviewed by Jennifer Lincoln, January 2019