Hydramnios can lead to many risk factors so it is better to get proper diagnosis done and find treatment options. Read on to know the complications associated with hydramnios.
The amniotic fluid starts forming 12 days after conception. This fluid helps supporting the baby and develops the digestive organs, lungs and limbs. The cushioning effect offered by it, ensures the baby is safe and enjoying the right body temperature. Amniotic fluid is very crucial for the development of babies. However, in some pregnancies excess of amniotic fluid is diagnosed in amniotic sac which is associated with some risk factors.
What is Hydramnios?
Hydramnios or Polyhydramnios refers to a condition where there is excess amniotic fluid around the baby. This disorder could indicate some abnormality in the pregnancy, or it could simply be incorrect diet of the mother (a common cause in many Indian women). Hydramnios may be caused by a genetic disorder that interferes with the foetus' ability to swallow.
The volume of amniotic fluid increases in the 33rd pregnancy week. When you are suffering from hydramnios, you do not have the expected level of amniotic fluid. When the water volume increases by 2 litres, it becomes noticeable easily. This increases your discomfort level as well. About 3-4% of pregnancies are known to suffer from this condition. The good news is, in most of the cases it does not create any problem. Soon your body shall stabilise and the additional fluid shall be absorbed by your body.
How is this Condition Diagnosed and Treated?
The size of the abdomen could indicate the existence of this condition. A suspiciously large abdomen could indicate hydramnios. The diagnosis can be confirmed by doing an ultrasound. If a woman has hydramnios, doctors recommend that she restrict her fluid intake (but not drastically) and reduce the salt content in her diet. A hectic routine is also a major cause for fluid retention around the baby. So slow down, the important of rest cannot be stressed enough.
How is it Harmful?
Excessive hydramnios can present a problem for the woman. If it interferes with the mother's breathing, it may become necessary to withdraw the excess amniotic fluid by performing an amniocentesis.
Risk Factors Associated
Even though it may not always pose a risk factor in pregnancy, here are some probable risk factors that you need to keep in mind. Take a look below:
It might pose risk factor for mothers carrying more than one baby. Since factors like the placenta size and space occupied in the uterus cannot be ruled out.
Those suffering from gestational diabetes are treated in a different way.
Twins inside are known to develop twin-to-twin transfusion. This condition arises when one baby gets more blood flow than the other.
There are several cases when hydramnios remains unknown.
Complications associated with hydramnios tend to increase in the earlier stages of pregnancy. Chances of premature rupture are very high when the volume of amniotic fluid increases. This often leads to premature delivery. Chances of vaginal bleeding and post partum haemorrhage also increases among those suffering from this condition. The muscle tone in uterus reduces and it fails to contract completely.
As mentioned above, in many cases, you may not suffer from any complications even when diagnosed with hydramnios in pregnancy. The additional fluid tends to drain away with birth of the child and you shall feel very comfortable.
Symptoms of Hydramnios
Here are some of the symptoms associated that you should be watchful of. Take a look.
You may be gaining too much of weight fast. However, it is normal to gain around 12kgs in pregnancy.
You may find your belly increasing rapidly and adding to your discomfort.
Other associated symptoms could be heartburn, indigestion, tightness of the abdomen and so on.
In some cases the baby is known to develop severe anaemia that may eventually lead to heart failure.
Diagnosis of Hydramnios
Your doctor may suggest you to measure the amniotic fluid index (AFI) and amniotic fluid depth that is around the baby. Ultrasound scans shall help finding the amount of amniotic fluid and see if you are suffering from hydramnios. A normal range would be from 8-18 and if the range is around 20-24, you may be suffering from hydramnios.
Treatment of Hydramnios
This condition needs to be monitored closely, as there are not much treatment options available. The chances of a premature delivery increases when volume of amniotic fluid is very high. An amniocentesis is performed to drain out the excess fluid. Ultrasound scans are performed to make sure the placenta, umbilical cord and the baby is not at risk.
Sometimes medicines are prescribed that helps reducing the fluid levels. This however, is not followed after the 32 week of pregnancy, because of the associated complications.
Apart from treatment procedures, it is also very important that you get adequate rest. You shall feel fatigued carrying too much of fluid all these days.
How is hydramnios condition serious for the unborn baby? What are complications associated with high level of amniotic fluid? What are treatment options for hydramnios condition? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team