Oligohydramnios is a condition in which you have too little amniotic fluid around the baby.
Amniotic fluid is essentially sterile baby urine. It is produced by your baby’s kidneys and provides cushioning for the baby.
Oligohydramnios is often due to the placenta not working very well. This could happen if the pregnancy goes beyond the due date and the placenta ages. A poorly functioning placenta will affect your baby’s kidneys’ ability to produce adequate amounts of urine.
Another cause of low fluid is a rupture of membranes. Less commonly, an inborn blockage in your baby’s urinary system will lead to decreased amniotic fluid.
Low amniotic fluid levels can often result in less cushioning of the umbilical cord, increasing the chances of its becoming compressed. This can cause fetal distress.
Your health care provider will often use an ultrasound to look at your amniotic fluid level. This is done frequently if your pregnancy goes over your due date since the placenta often functions less well at that time and oligohydramnios could occur. If you develop oligohydramnios, your provider will most often recommend inducing your labor.