Q:

What is the function of amniotic fluid?

A:

Medline Plus states that amniotic fluid allows the fetus to move, helps the lungs develop, provides a heat buffer that keeps the fetus at a constant temperature and cushions the fetus. Additional functions reported by PregMed are aiding digestive system development, keeping the umbilical protected and preventing the amniotic sac from coming in contact with the fetus.

Medline Plus defines amniotic fluid as a clear to slightly yellow liquid. It completely surrounds a developing fetus and is contained within a protective structure known as the amniotic sac.

According to PregMed, amniotic fluid mostly consists of water but also contains dead skin cells and waste from the fetus. The fetus ingests the fluid and eventually releases it as waste. This keeps the fluid circulating and staying in motion, which is essential to the development of musculoskeletal tissues.

Medline Plus reports that the volume of amniotic fluid is at its peak near the 34th week of pregnancy at which time it measures 800 milliliters. A pregnancy in which the mother has excessive or too little amniotic fluid poses danger to the fetus. Too little fluid may result in a stillbirth or miscarriage, while excess fluid can cause membranes to burst prematurely or induce preterm labor.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the function of the amniotic sac?

    A:

    John Hopkins Medicine states that the amniotic sac, the fluid-filled sac that holds the fetus in the uterus, functions to protect the unborn baby and help regulate the baby's temperature. The amniotic fluid inside the sac cushions the fetus and protects the fetus from damage. The amniotic sac also hold the amnion, a membrane that separates the placenta from the amniotic fluid.

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  • Q:

    What does amniotic fluid look like?

    A:

    Amniotic fluid looks like water with a slight yellow tint, according to the National Institutes of Health MedlinePlus website. A pregnant woman at full term, or 40 weeks gestation, has between 600 milliliters and 800 milliliters of amniotic fluid.

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    Does the diaphragm function in the fetus?

    A:

    The diaphragm does function in the fetus during pregnancy. The most tangible evidence of diaphragm development and function, fetal hiccups, usually begins around the 11th week of pregnancy.

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  • Q:

    How does it feel when your water breaks?

    A:

    When a pregnant woman's water breaks, it creates a sensation of wetness in the vaginal area that can range from a trickle to a rush of amniotic fluid, explains WebMD. The water-breaking process occurs in pregnant women when the fluid-filled amniotic sac that protects the fetus ruptures prior to labor.

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