By Heather Michon |

Intravenous (IV) therapies are a common part of modern pregnancy, but as with everything you put in your body during those nine months, you may wonder: Will an IV harm my baby?

The best evidence seems to be no, an IV poses no significant risk to your baby. In fact, it’s more likely to have a beneficial effect on both of you.

A major study in 2005 looked at the records of over 60,000 pregnant woman in Hungary to see if infusion therapy had any negative impact on fetal development. They concluded that infusion did not lead to a higher rate of fetal abnormalities.

Every pregnancy is different, but IVs are most commonly prescribed for conditions like dehydration and anemia. Blood transfusions are sometimes required to treat severe anemia.

Some women also develop a condition called oligohydramnios, a low level of amniotic fluid which can increase the risk of fetal distress and premature labor. Rehydration has been shown to help increase amniotic fluid levels.

Most hospitals will start an IV as soon as labor starts. This gives medical staff a quick way to administer drugs, and fluids help keep the veins open during the stress of active labor.

As with any medical treatment, you should have your doctor let you know about all of the risks associated with the drugs or therapies that are recommended. During any IV treatment, keep an eye out for infiltration or other problems.

For help starting the IV conversation, read How to Talk to Your Health Professional.

Check out our other resources for parents including:



The Effects of Intravenous Hydration on Amniotic Fluid Index in Pregnant Women with Preterm premature Rupture of Membranes: A Randomized Clinical Trial – 

Low Amniotic Fluid Levels: Oligohydramnios – 


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