18 Wk Ultrasoud - Amniotic Fluid "On the Low Side of Normal"

Updated on September 21, 2010
A.K. asks from Minneapolis, MN
19 answers

I just got back from my 18 week level 2 ultrasound. everything good with baby, measuring good, but the dr said my amniotic fluid was "still in the normal range, but on the low end" so he is sending the report to my dr and they will probably want me to come back in in 2 to 4 weeks to see if the amniotic fluid is normal level or not. I asked what would happen if it was low or lower, and he said well theres not much you can do at this point (which I took to mean because the fetus is not viable outside of the body if anything were to happen?), but they would probably suggest I not work and lay low and keep monitering it.

I have high anxiety anyways, and after 2 early miscarriages, I am pretty nervous about this. This dr told me my dr would call me next week sometime to tell me when they want me to schedule another ultrasound, so it will be a few days at least until I can talk to my Dr about it.

Has this ever happened to you? anyone have any experience with this?


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answers from Kansas City on

a suggestion my doctor gave me was to drink as much water as possible, and I dont know if it's what helped, or if it would have resolved on it's own but I ended up with a normal amount of water.

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answers from Des Moines on

i had a similar problem with my first one, and all they told me was to drink more fluids, since the more fluids you drink, the more there will be around the baby. it just adds more cushioning around the baby if you were to fall or something like that. and yes, at 18 weeks, the baby isn't viable, so if you did go into labor, it's chances of survival are rather slim. just relax, take it easy, and drink plenty of water and juices (that's what my doctors told me to do). they didn't put me on bed rest, but i didn't have any previous miscarriages, so they may at least tell you to stop working or something like that. you may not get put on full bed rest, but they will probably limit your activities until things get to a good level where the doctors aren't concerned.



answers from Dubuque on

This happened to me much later in my pregnancy.(32weeks) They immediately put me in the ER and were going to do a C-section. They also hooked me up to IV's for 2 hours. I asked for them to get a second opinion which they did and they decided to let me go home and do another ultrasound first thing in the morning. That ultrasound showed normal levels. We did an ultrasound a week until my due date and they were all fine. I was very glad that I insisted on the 2nd opinion. I believe the ultrasound tech was just way off. They also said I would have over a 9 pound baby and she was born weighing 8 lbs 1 ounce.

My advice to you is not to wait. Demand another ultrasound immediately and to see your Dr. immediately. If you are indeed on the low side there are things they can do. Take charge and do not wait to see the Dr. They see hundreds of patients and do not have the time to take charge. You need to.

I wish you the best of luck. Try to relax and take it easy. Hope all turns out well.

Everything turned out fine. I suggest that you do not wait and demand to see your Dr. immediately and have another ultrasound asap.



answers from Seattle on

I had an AFI of 3 on my "Twin A" at 16 weeks. (His placenta was bleeding so they think that was the cause.) "Twin B" was on the low end of normal. They gave me a 50-50 chance of keeping the babies in at that point and sent me home on bedrest. I went home and drank a gallon of water a day for a week. When I came back his AFI was up to 6. They were very encouraged! I stayed on bedrest for awhile, kept drinking water and eventually the AFI was in the normal range. At 25 weeks, Twin A's water broke. He had 0 AFI for a month, I was on hospital bedrest and I delivered at 29 weeks 5 days. His lungs were weak at birth, and he was on a ventilator for a few days then oxygen for a few months, but you would never know it byt the way he can SCREAM during tantrums now, LOL!

My point is, babies can do okay with low amniotic fluid. The later in pregnancy the better because of lung development, but it is not unheard of to have low fluid at an early stage and the baby develop normally. And yours is in the normal range. Also-see a perinatologist if you are not already!



answers from Minneapolis on

Try not to stress out too much, could make things worse. I had the same issue...to the point that my daughter was behind in growth. The specialist told me to start swimming to get my circulation going so that the baby would be inspired to drink more and in turn pee more to make the fluid she needed. It worked...she was ahead of her growth schedule just a few short weeks later. Good luck!! Try and stay positive and believe that all will be just fine.



answers from Minneapolis on


Take a deep breath, I know easier said than done. I have not had an ultra sound at 18 weeks that was on the low end of normal however I did have my water break at 23weeks and was then in the hospital another 2 weeks prior to having our daughter. The ultrasound doctor was right in the fact that they may want you to stop working and put you on bedrest but don't worry at this point. I have known people that have had small leaks early in their pregnacy and the leak resealed after being on bed rest. Also, a nurse told me when I was in the hospital to drink as much fluid as possible because the more I drink the more the baby gets and the more the baby will urinate (that is what the fluid is) and so more is better. The baby is doing great and the ultimate goal is 40 weeks but set yourself a couple of other goals 25 weeks (viability starts), 32 weeks (most of the dramatic possibilities of life long challenges drop off). Our daughter was born at 25 weeks and 5 days and she is now 2 1/2 and very bright, no issues. It will all be okay!!! Just remember to take care of yourself, that will help take care of baby.



answers from Minneapolis on

This happend to me with my first pregnancy (I have 2 kids). It was diagnosed at 20 weeks and I went to see a perinatologist. The perinatologist assured us that everything was good with the baby and I just had weekly ultrasounds and non-stress tests. Usually my fluid levels were around 7 with my highest being 11.5. I knew that if I dropped below 5 I would have to be induced. Once the perinatologist confirmed that everything was ok with the baby I relaxed and took it easy. I was put on bedrest at 34 weeks, which really just meant I couldn't work because my job is very physical. I made it to one day shy of 36 weeks before I was inuduced and my daughter was 5 pounds but very healthy. Really the only issue we had was jaundice which is common in full term healthy babies too. She never spent time in the NICU, my labor was easy and she went home 1 day after I was discharged and we treated the jaundice at home. I didn't have low anmiotic fluid during my next pregnancy - everything was normal with that one. I hope you can find the answers you need - just try to take it easy, as stressful as it is!



answers from Milwaukee on

Drink water, water, and more water. Drink water ALL day long. Not fun, not tasty, but necessary.



answers from Milwaukee on

I had high risk pregnancies due to elevated platelets and preclampsia (in the last 2 trimesters). So, I had to go in for weekly ultrasounds ~ the colored ones that show amniotic fluid, etc. My fluid was relatively low throughout, but at my 35 week appointment it was so low that I had to be induced.

My guess is they will want you on bedrest with weekly ultrasounds. I'm sure this is all very worrisome for you ~ so, I"m sorry you have to go through this. I just said a prayer for you. Also, even though I had many health problems and premature babies with low apgars, my kids are now healthy & at the top of their class. Miracles can happen when in the presence of love & prayer!



answers from Omaha on

Hopefully it's nothing to worry about. My SIL had low fluid and had her baby at 34/35 weeks. Her baby spent some time in the NICU and is now a healthy 10 month old. She was however leaking fluid and didn't realize it. She was going through about 2 pair of underwear a day, but it being her first pregnancy she didn't realize that was not normal. She finally calle dmy MIL and went to the hospital when she went though 2 pair and pants in about an hour. Until then she was told lots of fluid and rest if you can.



answers from Iowa City on

I had low amniotic fluid with my older daughter. I had an ultrasound with every visit past 24 weeks and they monitored the pockets of fluid. The week of my due date I had my last ultrasound, they could find very little fluid and sent me straight to the hospital to be induced. Not knowing any better, I didn't ask for a c-section, but I was in labor for 26 hours, she inhaled meconium, her heart rate dipped repeatedly and she ended up in the NICU for 4 days. She is now perfectly healthy but I wish I had been more assertive and asked for a c-section which might have prevented her ending up in the NICU.

Try to rest as much as you can, drink plenty of fluids, and hopefully your doctor will have more information. If it's just on the low end of normal, hopefully you'll stay there or go up by the next ultrasound. I wish you the best!



answers from Minneapolis on

I had a friend who was told this, and was stressed out the entire rest of her pregancy - which went full-term and perfectly. I bet she wishes she had taken a deep breath and trusted her body during those weeks. Remember that you are "still in the normal range" and relax and rest and enjoy being pregnant. When you have more information, you can discuss with your doctor any special actions you can take, or monitoring you will need.



answers from Minneapolis on

I would call and talk to the Dr on Monday if you don't hear from him. Until then, I would drink as much water as you can. I have heard that can have an impact on your level of amniotic fluid.

Remember that you can always call the clinic's answering service and have the Dr. on call give you a ring back so you can ask a few questions. That is what they are there for. Otherwise it will be a really long weekend. Good luck!



answers from Minneapolis on

This happened to me also but I was not diagnosed until I was about 30 weeks. I was not put on bed rest but told to rest as much as possible and drink fluids as the fluid is renewed. I had to go in every week for a non stress test and an ultrasound to measure the fluid. At the 34 week point I was induced. I now have a healthy and lively 6 year old.


answers from Davenport on

I had low amniotic fluid with my first daughter. She is a happy, healthy 3 year old. She was born prematurely between 34/35 weeks (so not super early) by C-section and had to spend some time in the NICU. I had to have an ultrasound every 2 weeks to check the fluid level. I was told to drink as much water as possible and to rest as much as possible. I think your doctor probably meant that they don't do anything about the fluid level until it is too low. You are borderline so try not to worry. They can inject fluid into the amniotic sac if you get too low but this is a short term solution. They also may offer you IV hydration.



answers from Bismarck on

I agree with everyone else...drink lots of water and rest if you can. My fluid was on the low side at about 37 weeks. The doctor told me to drink lots of water before my next ultra sound. I was still on the low end but well within normal. Our son was born pretty much on his due date and is a healthy happy boy.



answers from New York on

I have not been in this situation, but I am curious if you are drinking enough. I am told that baby replaces the fluids in the sac about once every 24 hours (or something like that) so if you are not drinking enough for your functions as well as baby's then the volumne of amnio (which is basically baby's pee) can suffer.

Remember a general rule of thumb is that your urine should be thin yellow to nearly white/clear. If not, drink more water.

Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

I had that too when I was pregnant with my second child. The doctor recommended I try to rest as much as possible but I was never put on bed rest. They also monitored me a bit closer to ensure that it didn't get any worse. I ended up having a C-section at 38 weeks because of this but my son and I were both fine.
Try not to worry too much about it. Drink lots of fluids and get as much rest as possible.


answers from Minneapolis on

Try using some calming things to help with your anxiety. Diffusing or applying 100% wildcrafted oils can do wonders. I will research your low amniotic fluid level and get back with you if I find something. Prayers and wishes being sent your way(s)!

A rule we use for water consumption is: Half your body weight, then use that much purified water in ounces per day. 130# person = 65 oz water/day!!!

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