symptoms of polyhydramnios
If you notice your pregnant tummy is getting quite big quicker than expected, then you may be experiencing acute polyhydramnios. It's always best to contact your midwife or doctor to see whether this is the case and receive expert advice. They may be able to detect the build-up after 18 to 22 weeks.
For most women who have the complication, however, the amniotic fluid builds up slowly – which is why the 30-week mark arrives before it’s detected. If more amniotic fluid than usual is suspected, it’s likely that you’ll be booked in for an additional ultrasound scan, so that they can measure its depth.
Another symptom to watch out for is shiny, stretched skin on your bump, and you may find that you get out of breath more easily.
Polyhydramnios can also aggravate these common pregnancy symptoms (which is why the condition is a little difficult to self-diagnose):
- varicose veins
- stretch marks
- swollen legs
causes of polyhydramnios
The reasons why some pregnant women develop polyhydramnios are uncertain. However, the complication has been linked to the following:
- being pregnant with twins
- your unborn baby having a gut atresia, a small blockage in their developing digestive system
- having diabetes
- a genetic issue with your unborn child
- a chorioangioma, or too many blood vessels on the placenta
- having rhesus disease, which can result in your unborn baby becoming anaemic
- hydrops fetalis, or fluid building up in certain parts of your unborn baby’s body – namely the chest cavity and abdomen
how is polyhydramnios treated?
While pregnant women with polyhydramnios may be prescribed medication, doctors and midwives usually recommend taking lots of rest and to avoid doing anything that may cause breathlessness.
Only mums-to-be with particularly severe polyhydramnios will need to have some of their excess amniotic fluid drained, which will reduce the likelihood of a premature birth and the onset of potential placenta problems. If such a procedure is necessary then new mums may be advised to take maternity leave early, as they’ll need to take more rest than normal.
If your doctor is able to identify a particular cause behind your polyhydramnios, then they’ll certainly provide an additional care plan to ensure that your recovery, and your baby's, is a speedy one.