Amniotic fluid is the liquid that surrounds a developing baby (fetus) in the uterus throughout pregnancy. The amniotic fluid protects the fetus from temperature extremes and from being bumped or hurt as the mother moves around.
Amniotic fluid allows the fetus to move before birth and is important for lung development. It is produced by the fetus and the placenta and contains cells and other substances that have been shed by the fetus.
Amniocentesis is a test done to collect a sample of amniotic fluid.
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