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In this condition, there is too much amniotic fluid around your baby during pregnancy. It happens in about 1 in 100 pregnancies. It’s also called polyhydramnios.
Your baby needs amniotic fluid to grow. This watery fluid is inside the amniotic sac (membrane). It’s sometimes called the bag of waters. Your baby stays in this fluid for all of pregnancy. It helps to cushion and protect your baby. Amniotic fluid also helps your baby’s lungs, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract grow.
The fluid is made by your baby’s lungs and kidneys. Your baby swallows the fluid and passes it out as urine. The waste is taken away through your placenta.
Pregnant women normally have about one-half to 1 quart (500 to 1,000 ml) of amniotic fluid. Too much or too little amniotic fluid can cause problems. These issues can affect how your baby develops. They can also cause pregnancy complications. Or the amount of amniotic fluid may be a sign of another issue.
This condition may happen for several reasons. Either too much fluid is made or there’s a problem with the fluid being taken away. Or both of these things may be happening. Hydramnios may be caused by diabetes in the mother.
It can also be caused by problems with the developing baby. These can include:
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each pregnancy. They can include:
The symptoms of this health problem may be like symptoms of other conditions. See your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
Your healthcare provider will look at your health history. He or she will also give you an exam. A healthcare provider may spot this condition on an ultrasound during pregnancy. He or she will measure pockets of fluid to check the amount. In some cases, an ultrasound can help find the cause of hydramnios. These can include a multiple pregnancy or a birth defect.
The goal of treatment is to keep you pregnant for as long as it’s safe. Treatment may also make you more comfortable.
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, pregnancy, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Treatment may include:
Too much amniotic fluid can cause your uterus to become too large. This may lead to preterm labor. Or the amniotic sac may break too early.
This condition is also linked with birth defects. When the sac breaks, large amounts of fluid leave the uterus. This may cause the placenta to detach from your uterus too early (placental abruption). It may also cause the umbilical cord to fall into your vagina (umbilical cord prolapse).
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your health care provider:
Bayhealth is Southern Delaware’s healthcare leader with hospitals in Dover and in Milford. Bayhealth provides a wide range of medical services, including cardiovascular, cancer, orthopaedics and rehabilitation, pediatrics, respiratory care, sleep care, surgical weight loss and women’s services.