How to Reduce Amniotic Fluid During Pregnancy

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 17/04/2024

When you are pregnant, your baby is engulfed within your womb, growing each day. For this to be effective, the baby is rested in a fluid-filled sac in the uterus, known as an amniotic sac.

The fluid inside this sac is aptly known as “amniotic fluid” and serves as a nurturing fluid where your baby can thrive and mature throughout the gestational period. However, sometimes, the volume of amniotic fluid may deviate from the norm, potentially posing health concerns for the developing life within you.

In this blog, we’ll take you through the roles of amniotic fluid, explore potential factors influencing its volume fluctuations, and help answer “how to reduce amniotic fluid during pregnancy?”

Understanding Amniotic Fluid and Its Fluctuations

The amniotic fluid, produced by both the baby and the mother, acts as a protective bubble, providing buoyancy, warmth, and room to move and grow. Amniotic fluid is a yellowish liquid primarily composed of water, electrolytes, proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and foetal cells that create a nourishing environment for the developing baby.

The amniotic fluid is predominantly generated by the foetal kidneys, streaming into the uterine cavity via the foetus's urinary excretions. Subsequently, the foetus ingests and absorbs the fluid through its respiratory actions, contributing to the equilibrium of amniotic fluid levels.

This intricate process ensures a harmonious balance between amniotic fluid production and absorption. Any disruption to this equilibrium can cause complications for both the expectant mother and the foetus.

While amniotic fluid levels typically increase as pregnancy progresses, fluctuations can occur due to various factors. These fluctuations are categorised into two main conditions:

  • Oligohydramnios

  • Polyhydramnios

Diagnosing and managing abnormalities in amniotic fluid volume requires a multidisciplinary approach involving obstetricians, maternal-foetal medicine specialists, and neonatologists. Healthcare providers can assess for polyhydramnios by evaluating the largest single pocket of amniotic fluid surrounding the foetus, known as the maximum vertical pocket (MVP). Alternatively, they may conduct a measurement of amniotic fluid across the four quadrants of the uterus, known as the amniotic fluid index (AFI).

What is Oligohydramnios?

Oligohydramnios is a condition characterised by abnormally low amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac. It can be caused by various factors, including foetal abnormalities (such as renal anomalies or growth restriction), placental insufficiency, maternal dehydration, ruptured membranes, or post-term pregnancy.

What is Polyhydramnios?

Polyhydramnios, also known as hydramnios, arises when the amniotic fluid index falls within the 20 – 24 range, indicating an elevated level of amniotic fluid. This surplus fluid, although typically benign, marginally elevates the likelihood of pregnancy and delivery complications.

Throughout gestation, the volume of amniotic fluid steadily escalates, peaking at approximately 1 quart by the 36th week of pregnancy. Following this milestone, a gradual reduction in fluid volume typically ensues.

Polyhydramnios can occur due to various reasons, including foetal anomalies (such as gastrointestinal obstructions or central nervous system disorders), maternal diabetes, twin pregnancies, or foetal anaemia. It is associated with an increased risk of complications in the baby, such as premature rupture of membranes, preterm labour, placental abruption, and postpartum haemorrhage.

Symptoms of Polyhydramnios

In some instances, individuals may not manifest any symptoms as the condition of polyhydramnios presents mildly. However, in more severe cases of polyhydramnios, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • A sensation of abdominal tightness accompanied by cramping or contractions.

  • Heartburn or acid reflux.

  • Increased frequency of urination.

  • Breathlessness or difficulty breathing.

  • Difficulty with bowel movements (constipation).

  • Swelling in the vulva (external genitals), legs, and feet.

  • The expansion of the uterus during pregnancy exerts pressure on adjacent organs such as the lungs, stomach, rectum, and bladder, contributing to the manifestation of these symptoms.

  • Your prenatal care provider may suspect an excess of amniotic fluid if:

  • Challenges arise in locating the foetal heartbeat.

  • The measurement of your uterus exceeds the expected size for the gestational age of the pregnancy.

  • The difficulty is encountered in palpating the foetus's position within your uterus.

Causes of Polyhydramnios

In most cases, particularly those of mild severity, the aetiology of polyhydramnios remains elusive. However, moderate to severe instances of polyhydramnios may be attributed to various factors, including:

  • Maternal diabetes, encompassing gestational diabetes or elevated blood glucose levels pre-existing or post-conception.

  • Incompatibility of Rh factor between the mother (Rh-negative) and the foetus (Rh-positive).

  • Foetal infection

  • Anaemia, infection, or cardiac abnormalities in the foetus.

  • Congenital disorders that impede the foetus's ability to swallow amniotic fluid.

  • Carrying identical twins affected by twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS).

  • Complications involving the foetal heart rate.

  • Blockage in the foetus's gastrointestinal tract (gut atresia).

  • Complications arise from placental issues.

How to Reduce Amniotic Fluid Levels During Pregnancy

Mild cases of polyhydramnios often resolve without the need for intervention. However, addressing the underlying cause, such as diabetes, can aid in alleviating polyhydramnios. Additionally, certain dietary modifications, including incorporating specific foods and avoiding others, can help regulate amniotic fluid levels. Here are some dietary recommendations on how to reduce polyhydramnios naturally:

Polyhydramnios Diet: Food to Decrease Amniotic Fluid During Pregnancy

  • Opt for foods low in carbohydrates, such as lean protein sources like tofu, chicken, and fish, green leafy vegetables, and citrus fruits.

  • Choose foods with diuretic properties, which help promote urine production and regulate fluid levels. Examples include onions, bell peppers, garlic, ginger, celery, grapes, and watermelons.

  • Limit caffeine intake, as excessive caffeine consumption can lead to dehydration and potentially affect amniotic fluid levels.

  • Include foods that are naturally enriched with potassium, such as potatoes, bananas, avocados, lentils, spinach, oranges and broccoli. Potassium assists in maintaining electrolyte balance and regulating amniotic fluid levels.

  • Avoid excessive salt and consumption of processed foods, as these can cause fluid retention and exacerbate polyhydramnios.

  • In addition to these polyhydramnios diet recommendations, maintaining a balanced and nutritious prenatal diet is crucial. Here are some nutrient-rich foods commonly recommended for pregnant women, which may also help manage amniotic fluid levels:

Lean proteins: Chicken, turkey, eggs, beans, legumes, lentils, low-fat dairy products, lean beef, pork, tofu, tempeh.

Leafy greens: Kale, spinach, broccoli, Swiss chard, collard greens.

Low sodium foods: Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds.

  • Drinking enough water and staying hydrated throughout the day is essential for maintaining healthy fluid levels, including amniotic fluid, which can act as a polyhydramnios treatment at home. Regular exercise during pregnancy is also beneficial for regulating amniotic fluid levels, promoting overall health, and preparing for labour.

Risks and Complications Caused by Polyhydramnios

Although most women with polyhydramnios experience an uneventful pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby, there is a slightly heightened risk of pregnancy and delivery complications.

Potential Complications for The Mother

  • Onset of premature contractions leading to preterm delivery.

  • Premature rupture of membranes.

  • Excessive uterine relaxation and decreased tone following labour.

  • Prolonged labour duration.

  • Premature separation of the placenta from the uterine wall.

  • Respiratory difficulties.

  • Postpartum haemorrhage.

Potential Complications for The Baby

  • Hazardous positioning of the umbilical cord may result in cord compression and reduced oxygen supply to the foetus.

  • Congenital abnormalities.

  • Abnormal foetal size or positioning complicates delivery.

  • In severe cases, foetal demise.

Safeguarding Your Pregnancy with a Reliable Health Insurance Plan

While many cases of polyhydramnios resolve without intervention, the potential risks associated with this condition underscore the significance of a comprehensive health insurance plan.

With the right medical insurance plan, such as Tata AIG Maternity Insurance, individuals can gain peace of mind, acknowledging that their medical expenses are covered. Our medical insurance for maternity offers comprehensive coverage for maternity-related hospitalisation expenses, including up to 30 days before delivery and 60 days post-delivery.

Furthermore, our comprehensive maternity medical insurance policy provides coverage for newborn baby care from day one up to 90 days. This includes neonatal care for any needs the newborn may have, offering peace of mind to parents during this crucial time.

As such, investing in a health insurance plan is a prudent financial decision along with a crucial step toward ensuring a healthy and worry-free pregnancy journey.


Polyhydramnios is a complex condition that requires careful management and monitoring throughout pregnancy. While these natural approaches may offer some relief, it is essential to approach them with caution and ensure to consult with a reliable healthcare provider prior to making any changes to diet or exercise routines.

By staying informed, proactive, and engaged in their healthcare journey, expectant mothers can navigate polyhydramnios with confidence and optimise the chances of a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

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