Consider the standard prenatal visit. Sometimes I think it doesn't seem like we do much. We obtain weight and vital signs, dip urine, and measure the belly in a decidedly 19th century way, with a tape measure. But we learn more than you might imagine. We can get a sense of whether the baby's interval growth is tracking, and whether or not there is a lag or an acceleration. Any concerns raised at this simple low-tech appointment can lead to further more intensive, high tech studies, such as ultrasound. At ultrasound we can not only see the various measurements of the baby but we can also see features of the placenta albeit more subtly. Finally, we can see the amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid reveals a great deal about the pregnancy. Most of the time we check amniotic fluid, it is in the normal range. However, it is not uncommon to find abnormal levels of amniotic fluid, either high or low. High amniotic fluid is called polyhydramnios, whereas, low amniotic fluid is called oligohydramnios. Amniotic fluid is an early indicator of the well-being of the pregnancy and the baby. You might say it is our canary in the coal mine. Learn more HERE.