When I was diagnosed with Polyhydramnios at 32 weeks, no one knew what it was. I did know some about it because I had wondered if I had it with my other boys. I’ve always carried large and have been told I had lots of fluid every time they broke my water. After diagnosis, I decided to do some research on polyhydramnios and find out everything I could about it.
What is polyhydramnios?
Polyhydramnios basically means I have high amniotic fluid levels. It only happens in 1% of pregnancies so the fact that no one had ever heard of it is no surprise. Low amniotic fluid is way more common than having excess like I do. There are different levels of how severe you are and I fall into the moderate category which is the second level up. I’m hoping that I will start to level out now instead of increasing in these last two weeks but we shall see.
What causes polyhydramnios?
There are a couple of different reasons why you can develop polyhydramnios. Usually, the first thing your doctor will check is your gestational diabetes results. Having GD typically increases your risk for polyhydramnios and for having a large baby.
Another reason is that your baby is anemic. This has nothing to do with your anemia, however, which I found very interesting. Your doctor will have an ultrasound performed to check your baby’s brain for anemia.
The last two common reasons are an esophageal issue that can’t typically be seen on ultrasound. Or the best one, no reason at all, your body is just doing it. I have fallen into the last category until little man arrives.
What Happens if you have Polyhydramnios?
If you have polyhydramnios, your doctor’s appointments will increase dramatically. I have to alternate between seeing a high risk maternal fetal medicine doctor and my regular obstetrician twice a week until I deliver. Within these appointments my weight is watched closely, I have multiple ultrasounds to check my fluid levels, growth ultrasounds, and have twice weekly non-stress tests. Believe me, my calendar blew up with appointments.
Is polyhydramnios dangerous?
When initially being diagnosed with polyhydramnios, there usually isn’t an immediate risk. As your levels increase, however, you can have trouble breathing, your baby’s umbilical cord can become compressed, and you can have possible uterine rupture from your previous c-section scars on your uterus being stretched beyond its limits. There’s an endless list of complications that can happen during labor because of those high fluid levels as well.