Cochrane Summaries

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Maternal hydration for increasing amniotic fluid volume in oligohydramnios and normal amniotic fluid volume

Hofmeyr GJ, Gülmezoglu AM, Novikova N
Published Online: 
15 February 2012

Pregnant women with too little fluid surrounding their babies can increase this by consuming liquid, although it is not known whether this improves outcomes.

Oligohydramnios is where there is too little fluid surrounding the baby in the womb (uterus). This may occur because the baby is not thriving properly. It may cause the baby to be unable to turn into the head down position for the birth, or compression of the baby's umbilical cord. The review of four trials (122 women) found that women who drank extra water (usually two litres over two hours) or had fluid dripped directly into their bloodstream (both forms of maternal hydration) increased the volume of the fluid surrounding the baby. However, it is not clear whether this is better for the baby or not. More research is needed.