Here’s how to make sure you don’t get labor induced, unnecessarily, because of low AFI (amniotic fluid index). If you do all you can to make sure you are fully hydrated, and you still have low AFI, then that may indicate a problem and getting labor induced may be the best option. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any procedure.

Here are 3 simple things you can do to help your body make plenty of amniotic fluid for your baby to float in.

  1. Hot and dry isn’t good. If the weather is hot and dry or just plain hot, you can easily get dehydrated. You need to make sure you are drinking at least 10 Cups of water every day. Dehydration can cause low amniotic fluid and may be the rationale used to have labor induced.
  2. I said 10 cups. Drink water with electrolytes in it for best absorption in the last days and weeks of your pregnancy. You can drink Smart Water, Recharge, or buy packets of electrolyte powders to put in your water. Think about how important it is for your baby to have plenty of fluid surrounding him. Babies are healthier when labor is allowed to begin on its own. Having labor induced increases your chance of a Cesarean and increases the chance your baby will be in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
  3. Take a bath! Yes soak in a tub for at least 30+ minutes. Grab a good book or a magazine, sit back and relax. If it’s a hot day, soak in a cool tub. Your body will actually soak up the water and absorb it, increasing your amniotic fluid.
  4. Left is best. Rest on your left side. Sleep on your left side. Lie on your left side during your non-stress test. Not only does your body provide the best circulation when you lie on your left side but lying on your left side tends to increase the levels of amniotic fluid while you’re non-stress test is occurring. If your results indicate a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, chances are good your labor won’t be induced.

If you’re healthy and have no medical conditions, continue to eat 80-100 grams of protein a day and get enough rest and exercise. If you do all of the above, and your amniotic fluid levels are low, it may indicate a problem and an induction may be necessary. Remember the ultimate goal is always a healthy baby and a healthy mother.

Liza Janda