The excessive accumulation of amniotic fluid which surrounds the baby in the uterus during pregnancy is called polyhydramnios and this occurs in about 1 percent of pregnancies. Mostly this is just a mild case and occurs in the second half of pregnancy but severe polyhydramnios can cause preterm labor or shortness of breath.
To prevent complications, your doctor will monitor your pregnancy if you are diagnosed with polyhydramnios and the treatment depends on the severity of your condition such as draining the excess amniotic fluid.
Pressure being exerted within the uterus and on nearby organs is the result of the symptoms of polyhydramnios.
Your doctor will first conduct a physical exam and will do a fetal ultrasound that uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of your baby to rule out birth defects and other complications. He will estimate how much the amniotic fluid is by measuring the deepest pocket in your four specific of your uterus. The sum of these is the amniotic fluid index (AFI). If the AFI is 25 centimeters or more it means you have polyhydramnios.
Some of the additional tests are:
Amniocentesis – a sample of the amniotic fluid will be removed for testing;
Karyotype – to check the baby’s chromosomes for abnormalities, small piece of tissue will be removed from the placenta during a test called chorionic villus sampling.
Your doctor will do regular tests such as:
Nonstress test – to check your baby’s heart rate, you may be asked to eat or drink to make the baby active and to encourage movement;
Biophysical profile – ultrasound with nonstress test to check your baby’s breathing, movement and tone even the volume of amniotic fluid in your uterus;
Doppler ultrasound – to check your baby’s circulation.
Mild cases of polyhydramnios do not require treatment.
Some of the treatments include:
Drainage of excess amniotic fluid: your doctor will drain excess amniotic fluid from your uterus which is called amniocentesis or amnioreduction but these may have complications such as placental abruption, preterm labor and premature rupture of the membranes,
Medications: oral medication indometahcin (Indocin) for reducing fetal urine production and amniotic fluid but is not recommended if you are more than 31 weeks pregnant and side effects may include vomiting, nausea, acid reflux and gastritis, your baby’s heart will be monitored with a Doppler ultrasound and fetal echocardiogram.
You will probably delivering by the 39th to 40th week if you only have a mild to moderate polyhydramnios but if you have a severe polyhydramnios, you may be induced to 37 weeks to avoid complications.
Polyhydramnios cannot be prevented because half of the cases, the cause is completely unknown. Sometimes it can be genetic, meaning it is unavoidable. The best that you can do to prevent this is to avoid diabetes.
7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies
One of the homeopathic remedy for polyhydramnios is Natrum Muriaticum. This alternative remedy is to be used with professional advice.
8 Lifestyle and Coping
Lifestyle modifications are necessary in order to cope with polyhydramnios.
Having polyhydramnios may be difficult and scary. Follow some of these self-care measures so you will never be at risk of complications:
have a complete bed rest,
avoid any jerky movements,
avoid eating large meals,
use pillow to support the baby in bed,
avoid lying down immediately after eating,
avoid spicy foods and other foods that may lead to heart burn.
9 Risks and Complications
There are several risks and complications associated with polyhydramnios.
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