Intro Polyhydramnios (polyhydramnion, hydramnios, polyhydramnios) is a medical condition describing an excess of amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac. Amniotic fluid is the fluid that surrounds your baby in the womb.
Too much amniotic fluid is normally spotted during a check-up in the later stages of pregnancy.
It isn't usually a sign of anything serious, but you'll probably have some extra check-ups and will be advised to give birth in hospital.
Most women with polyhydramnios won't have any significant problems during their pregnancy and will have a healthy baby.
But there is a slightly increased risk of:
Pregnancy and birth complications, such as giving birth prematurely (before 37 weeks), problems with the baby's position or a problem with the position of the umbilical cord (prolapsed umbilical cord)
A problem with your baby – read about the causes of polyhydramnios for more information
You'll need extra check-ups to look for these problems and you'll normally be advised to give birth in hospital.
Polyhydramnios tends to develop gradually and there may not be noticeable symptoms.
Some women experience:
Feeling your bump is very big and heavy
But these are common problems for pregnant women and aren't necessarily caused by polyhydramnios. Talk to your midwife if you have these symptoms and you're worried.
In rare cases, fluid can build up around the baby quickly. Contact your midwife or doctor if your tummy gets bigger suddenly.
It's often unclear why too much fluid sometimes builds up during pregnancy, but it can be due to:
· a twin or multiple pregnancy
· diabetes in the mother – including diabetes caused by pregnancy (gestational diabetes)
· a blockage in the baby's gut (gut atresia)
· a problem with the placenta
· the baby's blood cells being attacked by the mother's blood cells (rhesus disease)
· a build-up of fluid in the baby (hydrops fetalis)
· a genetic problem in the baby
· Most babies whose mothers have polyhydramnios will be healthy. Speak to your doctor or midwife if you're concerned or have any questions