What to do if you are 12 Weeks Pregnant have Signs Amniotic Fluid is Leaking

Amniotic fluid can be produced internally by the mother as soon as 12 days after conception. It protects the baby, acting as a sort of intra-uterine bouncy castle, allowing the baby to move around in the womb without the risk of damage. It also assists in the development of the lungs, limbs, muscles and digestive tract, as well as offering protection from infection for both mother and child, so it’s vitally important.

Low levels of amniotic fluid – oligohydramnios – occurs in about 8% of women at some time during their pregnancy. If it happens in the first trimester, it can cause foetal abnormalities, impact on normal growth and increase the risk of miscarriage or stillbirth. So what should you do if there are signs of amniotic fluid leakage at the 12 weeks stage of your pregnancy?

Wear a sanitary pad

This will help to protect against infection entering the uterus via the vagina, as well as helping your health care professional to identify if it is indeed amniotic fluid you are leaking, or if it is merely a urine leak. On no account use tampons at any stage of your pregnancy, as they increase the risk of infection, and may even bring on a miscarriage in women, due to contact with the cervix which may cause undue pressure and/ or irritation.

Seek medical help

As soon as you have made yourself comfortable, call the doctor or midwife and explain the situation. Leaking amniotic fluid can lead to infection for the mother and stress for the foetus, so it should not be ignored, whatever the time of day or night.

Rest with your legs elevated

Leakage of amniotic fluid at this early stage of the pregnancy may herald the onset of a miscarriage, particularly if the fluid is streaked with blood. Rest on the bed or sofa, keep as still and calm as possible, and try not to worry. Just because you are leaking, it doesn’t mean you’re about to lose your baby.

If you have other children at home or at school, arrange for someone to come and look after them or collect them at home time. It’s best to do nothing strenuous until your condition has been checked out by a health professional.

Drink plenty of water

While doctors are not certain of the causes of oligohydramnios, it does present more often during the summer months, so it may be because the mother is dehydrated.  Amniotic leakage during the first trimester is relatively rare, because the mother is producing the fluid. Later in the pregnancy, amniotic fluid is produced by the foetus, so maternal dehydration could be responsible for early leakage. Sip water regularly and eat  fruits and vegetables with a high water content, such as melons, apples, lettuce and cucumber.

Eat healthily

A healthy diet is important at all stages of pregnancy, but particularly in the first trimester, when a huge amount of foetal development and growth takes place. If your doctor diagnoses oligohydramnios, he will recommend a healthy diet to help to resolve the problem.

Many women who present with early amniotic fluid leakage go on to have a successful, healthy full-term pregnancy if the condition is noticed and diagnosed as soon as possible, so it’s not necessarily bad news.