We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is an Amniotic Sac?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The amniotic sac is a protective set of membranous tissues that form in female mammals and many other creatures during early pregnancy. The sac is also known as the bag or bag of waters, and it holds both amniotic fluid and the fetus. This provides an additional protective element for the fetus during development. As pregnancy comes to a close, the bag ruptures, or is occasionally intentionally ruptured to induce labor. Usually a baby is born free from the bag, but may occasionally be covered with some part of it, which is called a caul.

Several important functions exist for the amniotic sac. The fluid it holds provides some cushioning for the developing baby, and the fluid itself creates temperature control. It’s actually warmer by a degree or two than normal body temperature.

Fluid in the amniotic sac also allows babies to move very freely in the womb, especially in the second and early third trimester. Fetuses are, essentially, swimming, during this time period, and this explains how early movements felt by the mother can seem to occur in different places of “the belly” quite quickly. When people have water births, it is often the contention that birth into water is the most natural thing because the baby has been living in a “water state” for most of its short life.

Given the importance of the amniotic sac, procedures like amniocentesis, where a needle is inserted into the sac, would seem very dangerous. In fact, in the majority of cases, amniocentesis is possible because the small puncture of the membrane won’t result in any form of leaking. The bag of fluids has self-sealing properties. This doesn’t mean that every amniocentesis is without risk, and sometimes this test has resulted in fetal injury or loss of pregnancy. Women can suffer from what is called premature rupture of the membranes, which may begin labor.

It is occasionally possible to stop labor or to repair tiny injuries to the amniotic sac. Women should be aware of any sensation that fluid is leaking, as this could indicate premature rupture. Alternately, when the bag breaks, at pregnancy term or earlier, some people feel a sudden rush of fluid that is very dramatic. Either scenario indicates that it is immediately time to contact a doctor, since both could mean labor is imminent.

In the standard single pregnancy, there is a sole amniotic sac. This is different in multiple births. Fraternal twins almost always have separated sacs, but sharing of a sac could vary in identical twins. Some are together in the same sac, and others each have their own. In higher multiples, it’s possible for a number of sacs and placentas to exist.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen

Writer

With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.