Low amniotic fluid, or oligohydramnios, is a condition experienced by pregnant women with variable causes and treatments. When a baby is developing, it is surrounded by amniotic fluid. This fluid helps create a safe and stable environment for the baby by helping maintain temperature, providing a medium for the baby to move in, preventing umbilical cord compression, and serving as a cushion between the baby and the mother. Normally, fluid level gradually increases until 34–36 weeks of pregnancy, reaching about a quart of fluid, and then gradually decreases until birth. A low level of fluid, especially in the earlier stages of pregnancy, can indicate problems with the developing baby or its environment. Some of the most common causes of low amniotic fluid are a tear in the amniotic membrane, the separation of the placenta from the uterine wall, a birth defect, twins, and certain medical conditions in the mother, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Signs of low fluid include leaking fluid from the vagina, measuring small for a certain stage of pregnancy, and a decrease in movement from the baby. An ultrasound is used to confirm amniotic fluid level. In many cases low fluid level is monitored but left unaltered, for example, a tear in the amniotic sac that is likely to heal. In late stage pregnancies with very low levels of fluid, labor is often induced. During this type of delivery, warm salt water is often pumped into the amniotic sac through the cervix to keep fluid levels stable and prevent umblical cord compression. Alternatively, a C-section may be performed.