The amniotic fluid in your uterus has very important functions during pregnancy. In most cases, pregnant women have just enough amniotic fluid.
But 1 in 100 has ladies too much amniotic fluid. You have too much amniotic fluid when you have a quarter more than average. Read here what can cause too much amniotic fluid and what the consequences are.
Functions of amniotic fluid
Amniotic fluid is indispensable during your pregnancy. Without amniotic fluid your baby could never grow and develop. Your baby's fur and blue would also come out of the womb as amniotic fluid protects your little one from bumps and shocks from the outside. Other functions:
- Your baby can practice swallowing because your baby swallows the amniotic fluid
- It helps in the development of the lungs
- The amniotic fluid provides a constant temperature in the uterus
- The umbilical cord is not compressed due to the amniotic fluid
- Your baby can train the muscles because it can 'swim' and move in the amniotic fluid
- It protects your baby against infections
What you need to know about amniotic fluid! That's how it is!
Usual amount of amniotic fluid
The amniotic fluid is already present from the moment the embryo is still very small. In the beginning there is not much amniotic fluid. When you are 16 weeks pregnant, you have about 150 milliliters. By the end of your pregnancy there is about 700 to 800 ml of amniotic fluid. You make the water daily because your baby also swallows a lot of amniotic fluid. It is therefore always supplemented.
Too much amniotic fluid can that harm?
About 1 percent of women therefore have too much amniotic fluid. Too much amniotic fluid is also called polyhydramnion. Polyhydramnion is usually detected fairly quickly during pregnancy checks. Symptoms include a rapidly growing uterus, shortness of breath, abdominal complaints, cramps or swollen feet and legs.
Since one quickly finds out (because your belly is too big or because the baby can not be felt well), action can be taken quickly. With an ultrasound or blood test, the cause can be investigated. If necessary, additional studies can also be carried out to determine whether there are congenital abnormalities. The cause is unknown in about 50% of women who have too much amniotic fluid. If you also do not suffer from it, the condition is pretty harmless and it automatically adjusts. If there is a cause, then it depends on the cause to what extent it can harm too much amniotic fluid and how to act.
Cause too much amniotic fluid
Polyhydramnion occurs when you produce too much amniotic fluid and / or your baby absorbs too little amniotic fluid. A surplus remains. In 50% of cases it does not hurt, but when there are certain causes behind it it can have consequences. These causes are:
- Gestational diabetes
- The esophagus of the baby is not well laid out, the amniotic fluid is not absorbed
- Deviation of the urinary tract
- Heart defect
- An infection
- Genetic abnormalities in the baby. Think of Down syndrome
- Being pregnant by a multiple birth
Consequences of too much amniotic fluid
Too much amniotic fluid can cause a number of complications. For example, placenta can be released prematurely or the umbilical cord may sag through the cervical opening and be compressed. This means your baby will no longer receive any nutrients. Other consequences:
- A growth delay occurs with your baby. This can eventually cause malformations
- You suffer from urinary tract infections during pregnancy
- Your uterus has little room to contract during labor, which makes laboration very difficult
- Excessive blood loss after delivery
Much amniotic fluid has given birth earlier
A last consequence of too much amniotic fluid is that the risk of premature birth is greater. That is because your uterus will expand more. This allows the membranes to break earlier and the delivery starts too early.
Treatment too much of amniotic fluid
Fortunately, too much amniotic fluid can be treated well. And in some cases it is not even necessary to treat it because it can not do any harm. When serious consequences can occur, it can be determined on the basis of the cause which treatment is needed.
This way you get medication or a blood transfusion or some amniotic fluid needs to be sucked away. In the worst case the delivery will have to be introduced.