Hydramnios

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
1 pint 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:

  • Digestive problems that block
    fluid
  • Problems with swallowing that may be
    due to a central nervous system problem or chromosome issues
  • Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome, a
    condition where identical twins share a placenta
  • Heart failure
  • Infection

Symptoms can occur a bit
differently in each pregnancy. They can include:

  • Fast growth of your uterus
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Uterus that is larger than normal for
    how far along you are in pregnancy
  • Labor pains (contractions)

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:

  • Closely watching the amount of amniotic
    fluid you have.
    Your healthcare provider will check this at your visits.
     
  • Medicine. This can reduce how much
    urine your baby makes. This can lower the amount of fluid.
  • Removing some of the amniotic fluid.
    This is done by inserting a needle through your uterus and into the amniotic sac.
    This is called amnioreduction with amniocentesis. You may need to have this done more
    than once.
  • Delivery. If problems are too risky
    for you or your baby, you may need to deliver your baby early.

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).

  • Hydramnios occurs when there’s too
    much amniotic fluid around your baby during pregnancy.
  • It can be caused by problems in both
    the mother and baby.
  • It causes the uterus to grow
    fast.
  • Your healthcare provider may spot this
    condition during an ultrasound in pregnancy.
  • Treatment will depend on the amount of
    extra fluid you have. It will also depend on other factors.

Tips to help you get the most from
a visit to your healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for your visit and
    what you want to happen.
  • Before your visit, write down
    questions you want answered.
  • Bring someone with you to help you ask
    questions and remember what your provider tells you.
  • At the visit, write down the name of a
    new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new
    instructions your provider gives you.
  • Know why a new medicine or treatment
    is prescribed, and how it will help you. Also know what the side effects are.
  • Ask if your condition can be treated
    in other ways.
  • Know why a test or procedure is
    recommended and what the results could mean.
  • Know what to expect if you do not take
    the medicine or have the test or procedure.
  • If you have a follow-up appointment,
    write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
  • Know how you can contact your provider
    if you have questions.