22 May, 2020

What Is Polyhydramnios And How To Deal With It

Your baby swims in the amniotic fluid for the 9 months that she’s in your womb. This fluid plays an important role in the baby’s health. She needs just the right amount of fluid to protect and help her grow. Normal amniotic fluid levels in later stages of pregnancy are between 5 and 25 cm, or about 800-1000 ml. If the measurement is over 25, it is called polyhydramnios.

So what exactly is polyhydramnios and does it pose any risks for mom and Baby? Read on to know more.

What is Polyhydramnios?

Polyhydramnios is the excessive accumulation of amniotic fluid – the fluid that surrounds the baby in the uterus during pregnancy. This condition occurs in about 1 to 2 percent of pregnancies. Most cases of polyhydramnios are mild and result from a gradual buildup of amniotic fluid, during the second half of pregnancy. Severe polyhydramnios may cause shortness of breath, preterm labor, or other signs and symptoms.

When a pregnant woman is diagnosed with polyhydramnios, the doctor will carefully monitor your pregnancy to help prevent complications. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. Mild polyhydramnios may go away on its own. Severe polyhydramnios may require closer monitoring. These are rare and are sometimes seen with babies who have blockage along gastrointestinal tract.

Symptoms of Polyhydramnios

Polyhydramnios symptoms result from pressure being exerted within the uterus and on nearby organs. Mild cases show little or no signs or symptoms. However, severe polyhydramnios may cause the following:

  • Shortness of breath or the inability to breathe
  • Swelling in the lower extremities and abdominal wall
  • Uterine discomfort or contractions
  • Foetal malposition, such as breech presentation

Your doctor may also suspect polyhydramnios if your uterus is excessively enlarged and he or she has any trouble feeling the baby.

Causes of Polyhydramnios

About 50-65% of the time, nobody knows what causes a woman to develop polyhydramnios. However, the rest of the time, doctors can pinpoint it to certain conditions. These are some of the factors that may lead to an increased risk of polyhydramnios:

  • Diabetes – Certain moms with diabetes might have increased levels of amniotic fluid.
  • Birth defects – Certain birth defects involving baby’s ability to swallow or kidney function can also cause increased amniotic fluid. It is your baby’s ability to swallow and process fluid through the kidneys that regulates this fluid level in the uterus.
  • Rh Incompatibility – A mismatch between mom’s blood and baby’s blood group.
  • Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) – When one identical twin gets too much blood flow than the others, it may lead to more amniotic fluid.
  • Problems with baby’s heart rate – These usually show up on ultrasound or monitoring.
  • An infection in the baby.

Complications of Polyhydramnios

These are some of the complications that can occur with polyhydramnios.

  • Too much amniotic fluid is associated with an increased risk of stillbirth.
  • Polyhydramnios increases the risk of premature rupture of membranes and/or preterm labor.
  • Some babies with high amniotic fluid levels can wiggle their way into a weird birthing position, instead of the normal late-pregnancy, head down, ready-to-be-born position.
  • Polyhydramnios increases risks for breech or transverse positions, which increases chances for C-section.
  • During labor, the umbilical cord could get pinched or pushed out before the baby, which can be very dangerous.
  • Amniotic fluid could lead to placental abruption, which means the placenta could separate before the baby is born, and increased risk for postpartum haemorrhage.

Although this situation sounds scary, polyhydramnios and its complications are fairly rare. As long as your baby is close to term, your amniotic fluid is still near normal range, and you’re being taken care of by an excellent team such as the one at KIMS Cuddles, high amniotic fluid levels may not pose a big problem.

Diagnosis and Treatment

If your doctor suspects polyhydramnios, they will do a fetal ultrasound. This test uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of your baby on a monitor. If the initial ultrasound shows evidence of polyhydramnios, your doctor may ask to do a more detailed ultrasound. They will estimate the amniotic fluid volume (AFV) by measuring the single largest, deepest pocket of fluid around your baby. An AFV value of 8 cms or more suggests polyhydramnios. Your doctor may even ask to do additional testing if you have a diagnosis of polyhydramnios.

Mild cases of polyhydramnios generally don’t require any special treatment and may go away on their own. Even cases that cause discomfort can usually be managed without intervention. In other cases, treatment for an underlying condition – such as diabetes – may help resolve polyhydramnios. If you experience preterm labor, shortness of breath or abdominal pain, you may need treatment in the hospital. This includes:

  • Drainage of excess amniotic fluid: Your doctor may use amniocentesis to drain excess amniotic fluid from your uterus. This procedure contains a small risk of complications such as preterm labor, placental abruption and premature rupture of the membranes. Your doctor will inform you about the same.
  • Medication: Your doctor may prescribe an oral medication to help reduce foetal urine production and amniotic fluid volume. Due to the risk of foetal heart problems, your baby’s heart may also need to be monitored with a foetal echocardiogram and Doppler ultrasound. Some side effects may include nausea, vomiting, acid reflux and inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

Even after treatment, your doctor will want to monitor your amniotic fluid level once every one to three weeks. Most women with mild to moderate polyhydramnios will be able to carry their baby to term, delivering at 39 to 40 weeks. Those who have severe polyhydramnios will be advised by their doctor about the appropriate timing of delivery to avoid complications for you and your baby. Polyhydramnios can be a worrisome condition during pregnancy. Work with your gynaecologist to ensure that you and your baby receive the best care possible. Our doctors at KIMS Cuddles can help you experience a healthy, comfortable pregnancy.

*Information shared here is for general purpose Please take doctors’ advice before taking any decision.


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30 January, 2018

Ways in which Dads-to-be can help out in Delivery Room

In the delivery room, it is up to the mother to do all the pushing. However, dad can play a major role in the birthing process too. Labor can be overwhelming for first-time mothers. If your partner is able to have a normal, vaginal delivery, you can ask the doctor about being present in the delivery room during birthing process. As a dad, your support and encouragement can go a long way in comforting the mother. Here are some ways in which dads-to-be can help out in the delivery room: Provide Distractions Labor has the tendency to be long and tedious. You may be spending hours doing nothing but waiting for your baby to arrive. You can take your wife’s mind off her discomfort by keeping her distracted. Music, conversations or even card games are a great way to keep her mind occupied. Speak out on her Behalf To do this, it is important you discuss her birth plan in advance. Understand how she feels about episiotomies or what her expectations of the doctor are. Don’t wait until your partner begins having her contractions to find out what kind of assistance she needs from you. Knowing her birth plan in advance makes it easier for you to articulate her needs when she is in pain,
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01 February, 2018

7 Fertility mistakes every couple makes

When trying to conceive for the first time, couples often make certain mistakes that delay conception. Here are 7 common fertility mistakes every couple makes and ways to improve your chances to get pregnant: Timing Typically, women have a 28-day cycle, which means ovulation generally happens around day 14. However, it isn’t guaranteed that every woman goes through the same. Individual cycles vary and you may have one that’s shorter or longer. In order to figure out the exact date of your ovulation, you can count back 14 days from the day you started your period. Seeing an expert to soon Most women under 35 take up to a year to get pregnant. If you’re feeling frustrated after trying for 6 or 7 months, and don’t have any underlying health problem, it is better to wait it out. Almost 80% of healthy couples get pregnant within a year. If you’re over 35, see an expert after six months of trying. Waiting too long to see an expert Sometimes, there are exceptions to the one-year-wait rule. If your cycle is shorter than 25 days or longer than 35 days, if your periods are painful or heavy, or you’ve experienced a pelvic infection in the past, see a doctor sooner to get everything checked.
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02 February, 2018

Reasons for periods to be late if Pregnancy test is Negative

More often than not, a missed period is an indicator of a woman’s pregnancy. However, that isn’t always correct. A woman may have a delayed or missed period but still, have a negative pregnancy test. There may be several reasons for that happening. Here are some of them: Low Hormone Levels During early pregnancy, the levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) aren’t high enough for a home pregnancy test to detect. So if you’re trying to get pregnant, your negative test result on a home kit may not be correct and you might be pregnant. A woman’s cycle may keep varying and if she conceives later in the cycle, the hormone levels may be low at the time of her missed period. To rule out any complications, be sure to talk to your doctor if you miss your periods and continue to do so. Ectopic Pregnancy Although rare, an ectopic pregnancy can show up as negative on a home pregnancy test. Only about 3 percent or fewer cases of negative tests point towards an ectopic pregnancy. If you have these symptoms along with a negative result, see your doctor immediately: Severe pain in lower abdomen or on one side Dizziness or lightheadedness Bleeding or spotting Nausea and vomiting
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