Excessive Amniotic fluid During Pregnancy (Polyhydramnios)

What is Amniotic Fluid?
Amniotic fluid surrounds the developing fetus in the amniotic sac, and performs some important functions. Some of these include:

  • provides protective cushioning
  • protects the baby and uterus from infection
  • serves as a backup of nutrients and fluids for your baby
  • allows your baby to move about and breathe
  • helps in the development of the respiratory, digestive and musculoskeletal systems

    Signs and Symptoms of Excess Amniotic Fluid
    Rapid development of your uterus could be the first sign to cause your health care provider suspect that you may have an excess of amniotic fluid. Later on in your pregnancy around the second or third trimester, you may not be able to feel your baby moving around.

    Other tell-tale signs may include:

  • unusual abdominal pains and indigestion
  • fluctuating weight
  • extreme swelling of your feet and ankles
  • a uterus that may measure larger than it should

    How it Affects the Baby
    In many cases this will actually resolve itself, however should your situation be on the extreme side you health care provider can remove some of the amniotic fluid through a procedure known as therapeutic amniocentesis. They will insert a needle into your uterus and simply remove some of the fluid from the amniotic sac.

    If there is excessive fluid, an amniocentesis may be performed to remove some fluid. Approximately half the cases of polyhydramnios resolve themselves.

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