We are celebrating our group prenatal class with the ABCs of prenatal classes. From A to Z let’s cover some common prenatal terms, A is for Amniotic fluid and what you can learn about them from our class.
Amniotic fluid is the liquid that your baby is swimming in! It is surrounded by two membranes and it is colloquially referred to as your water. Amniotic fluid protects your baby, helps regulate temperature and allows your baby to move which is important for muscle development and bone growth.
When your water breaks (a.k.a. your membranes rupture), amniotic fluid spills out. Contrary to what Hollywood shows us, this is often less dramatic than a tidal wave. It can even be a slow trickle in your underwear. During late pregnancy when the baby is putting a lot of pressure on your bladder people find themselves wondering: Did I just pee myself or did my water break? What a blessing. Once your water breaks, whether a gush or not, amniotic fluid will continue to leak out until your baby is born! Birth is messy business.
Remember that labor doesn’t generally start with your water breaking, in fact your water may not break until your baby is born. For the ~8-10% of people whose water does break before contractions start, the majority will go into labor within 24 hours.
What we will cover about amniotic fluid in our prenatal class
What do I do if my water breaks?
Concerns after your water breaks
Artificially breaking your water
Interesting facts about amniotic fluid
Amniotic fluid levels peak at around 800 ml, more than a bottle of wine.
Amniotic fluid takes on the flavors of what a pregnant person eats, so much so that humans can *smell* the difference of amniotic fluid after someone has ingested garlic pills. Studies have shown that amniotic fluid retains flavors such as anise, carrot and garlic. Even crazier is that babies exposed to a flavor in utero show a greater acceptance of the same flavor after birth. Guess that might explain why we all love the favorite foods of pregnancy, pickles and ice cream!
Up next B is for….
Learn more about our prenatal classes.
Disclaimer: Two Doulas prenatal classes and posts are for educational purposes only and do not serve as a substitute for prenatal or medical care. Any health or medical concerns should be discussed with your primary healthcare provider.