Polyhydramnios

The amniotic fluid protects and aids in the development of your baby. Polyhydramnios is a complicationthat occurs during pregnancy in which there is an excessiveamount of amniotic fluid surrounding the baby in the uterus (womb). Polyhydramnios may occur due to birth defects, maternal diabetes, blood incompatibility between you and baby, infection in baby, twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (inequality in the amount of blood receivedby identical twins) or heart rate problems in your baby.

Symptoms of severe polyhydramnios may include belly pain and breathing problems. Mild cases may sometimes not show any symptoms. Polyhydramnios may lead to complications such as premature birth, death of the baby in the womb (stillbirth), heavy bleeding after delivery, need for delivery through C-section, peeling away of theplacenta from the wall of the uterus and premature rupture of membranes(amniotic sac breaks).

The amount of fluid in your womb can be measured by ultrasound scan. The amniotic fluid index (AFI) method measuresand cumulates the level of amniotic fluid in four areas of your uterus. The maximum vertical pocket (MPV) method measures the level of amniotic fluid in the deepest area of your uterus. An AFI score of more than 24 centimetres and an MPV score of more than 8 cm indicatespolyhydramnios.

Treatment depends on the severity of the condition. Mild polyhydramnios rarely requires treatment.Severe cases may be treated with medications or drainage of excess amniotic fluid. In other cases, treating the underlying cause of the condition may help resolve polyhydramnios. You will be on close observation during this period and will have frequent ultrasounds and tests to monitor the level of amniotic fluid and your baby’s health.

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