Polyhydramnios in Pregnancy: When there is too much amniotic fluid
If you're found to have too much amniotic fluid at any point in your pregnancy, it's called polyhydramnios.
Polyhydramnios in pregnancy is a rare condition that happens when excess amniotic fluid accumulates in the uterus during pregnancy.
Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds your baby in your uterus (womb). During pregnancy, your baby needs amniotic fluid to grow. Your baby stays in this fluid throughout pregnancy. It helps to cushion and protect your baby, and is also essential for your baby’s development.
During the first 14 weeks of your pregnancy, fluid passes from your circulatory system into the amniotic sac. Early in the second trimester, your baby starts to swallow the fluid and pass it out as urine (and the cycle goes on). The waste is taken away through your placenta.
Pregnant women normally have about 500 to 1,000 ml of amniotic fluid. Too much or too little amniotic fluid can can affect how your baby develops and/or cause pregnancy complications.
What causes too much amniotic fluid or polyhydramnios?
When your amniotic fluid index reaches 20-24, then it is termed as a high level of amniotic fluid. This amniotic high index level would result in polyhydramnios.
Additionally, high level of amniotic fluid may also result in placental abruptions, preterm or premature labor, postpartum hemorrhage, and cesarean delivery.
Higher concentration of amniotic fluid may develop for several reasons, like the following:
- twin or multiple pregnancies, with two or more fetuses in the womb
- maternal diabetes, which doctors also determine as gestational diabetes
- the fetus having difficulty swallowing the amniotic fluid
- the fetus producing higher amount of urine
- congenital malformation, such as a blockage of fetus’ gastrointestinal or urinary tract, or an abnormal growth of brain and spinal cord
- your fetus might have infection
- the fetus may have an anemia, or lack of red blood cells
- infections to the mother
- blood incompatibilities between the fetus and the mother
How to reduce amniotic fluid in pregnancy naturally
Here are some tips to lessen or reduce the level of amniotic fluid during pregnancy in natural ways:
- Sometimes, the amniotic fluid increases due to a disease. Treating this disease may help lower the level of amniotic fluid.
- Amniocentesis is an approach used to drain out the excess amniotic fluid in your body. This must be the last resort because it might cause or trigger preterm labor and delivery.
- The doctor may put you on indomethacin. It helps in lowering the level of amniotic fluid. It is also generally prescribed 31 weeks before delivery (third trimester).
The right level of amniotic fluid is important for the baby’s welfare. Get your amniotic fluid checked regularly during pregnancy and make sure it is always in the range index of 8-20. This will guarantee you that your baby is safe inside the womb.
Polyhydramnios in pregnancy or too much amniotic fluid
Causes Of Polyhydramnios in Pregnancy related on having too much amniotic fluid
A birth defect or congenital disability that affects the baby’s gastrointestinal tract or central nervous system
Being pregnant with twins or other multiples
Mismatched blood types between mother and baby
A problem with the baby’s heart rate
Infection during pregnancy
A lack of red blood cells in the baby (fetal anemia)
Polyhydramnios effect on baby in third trimester
- giving birth prematurely (before 37 weeks of the third trimester)
- your waters breaking earlier
- a problem with the position of the umbilical cord
- your baby has a health condition
Symptoms of Polyhydramnios in pregnancy
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling in the lower extremities and abdominal wall
- Uterine discomfort or contractions
- Swelling of the vulva
- Decreased urine production
- Swollen feet
- Feeling huge or tightness in the belly
- Fetal malposition, such as breech presentation
Complications from Polyhydramnios
- Premature rupture of membranes — when your water breaks early
- Premature Birth
- Excess fetal growth
- Placental abruption (premature separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus)
- Postpartum hemorrhage – Heavy bleeding due to lack of uterine muscle tone after delivery
- Umbilical cord prolapse (the cord falling out of the vagina before the baby)
- Fetal malposition such as breech presentation
- Cesarean section delivery
Polyhydramnios in cesarean section
Testing for Polyhydramnios in pregnancy
Your doctor may also perform the following tests:
- Glucose challenge test (for gestational diabetes)
- Amniocentesis (sampling of amniotic fluid to test the baby for genetic abnormalities or defects)
- Non-Stress Test (to check for abnormalities in the baby’s heart rate)
- Doppler ultrasound (a stronger ultrasound that can see the baby’s circulatory system)
Treatment for Polyhydramnios in relation to amniotic fluid
Diet and tips for pregnant with polyhydramnios or too much amniotic fluid
Do not smoke.
Eat healthy foods.
Take prenatal vitamins.
Control diabetes and other health conditions.
Republished with permission from theAsianparent Singapore
Additional information by Nathanielle Torre
Here at theAsianparent Philippines, it’s important for us to give information that is correct, significant, and timely. But this doesn’t serve as an alternative for medical advise or medical treatment. theAsianparent Philippines is not responsible to those that would choose to drink medicines based on information from our website. If you have any doubts, we recommend to consult your doctor for clearer information.