A nourishing and protecting fluid contained by the amnion of a pregnant female.
It consists primarily water but also contains proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, phospholipids, urea, and electrolytes.
Aids in the growth of the fetus.
In the late stages of pregnancy it consists of mainly fetal urine.
Its volume increases till the 34th week of gestation at which time it is about 800 mL, and decreases to about 600 mL at the time of birth at 40 weeks.
It is inhaled into the fetal lungs and helps the lungs to develop.
Analysis of amniotic fluid requires tapping the amniotic sac by the process called amniocentesis.
Amniotic fluid can be examined for chemicals and four genetic abnormalities.
Maternal intravenous hydration increases actual and ultrasound estimated amniotic fluid volumes in normal third-trimester pregnancies.