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What is Polyhydramnios? (part 2 ..)

Read the first part of this article (What is Polyhydramnios – Part 1)

Diagnosis of Polyhydramnios

Polyhramnios is diagnosed based on various factors associated with the condition of mother and associated illness like diabetes, overweight etc. A Doctor would consider the following factors to diagnose Polyhydramnios in a pregnant woman:

• Maternal history of Diabetes Mellitus
• Rh incompatibility
• Intrauterine infection
• Multiple pregnancies

Clinical signs associated with Polyhydramnios

• Increased abdominal size, out of proportion with weight gain and gestation age
• Uterine size outpacing gestational age
• Shiny skin with stria
• Dyspnea
• Chest heaviness
• Fetus has a faint fetal heart sound

Associated conditions

With the condition of Polyhydramnios, the fetus may have an increased risk of developing the following:
• Cord prolapsed
• Placental abruption
• Premature birth
• Prenatal death
• Congenital abnormalities

Management of Polyhydramnios

Polyhydramnios management depends on how severe the condition is and the cause behind it. If the condition is mild, there is a chance that the condition subsides as the pregnancy progresses. In most cases, the Doctor will advise you to take rest.
In the case where sugar levels are raised in the blood stream and you are not undergoing any treatment for diabetes, doctor may suggest you to go to specialists for further examination and advice. Through this process, the Blood sugar level will lower this way, and thereby it will also reduce the amniotic fluid volume.
Doctor shall advice you on the schedule of regular check up to monitor the volume of the amniotic fluid. In a severe condition, hospital admission may be required. Undergoing an ultra sound scan shall help in spotting any associated problems in baby and also in monitoring the amniotic fluid levels. If everything seems fine, then the cause of polyhydramnios is certainly something else.
But if there is any identification done regarding a problem with baby, then the treatment shall be identical to that in twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. Based on the cause of the excess volume of the fluid, a medication might be suggested in order to minimize the urine amount produced by the baby.
In case of an abnormality in the baby, if a surgery has to be performed, then labor might be induced and the baby kept in a neonatal surgical unit. The baby undergoes an operation under a specialist. Thereafter, due care and process is taken for the baby and mother.
In certain severe cases of polyhydroamnios, draining of amniotic fluid is possible in order to reduce the overall volume of the amniotic fluid. This shall help the mother by reducing the risk of preterm labor or even placenta going away from the uterus wall. This technique is considered risky and there are chances of infection building up, which would cause the mother to have contractions and going into labor. Also, there is no guarantee of further build up of excess amniotic fluid in the womb. Sometimes even rest might not help as the uterus is swollen. This may lead to premature labor. Consultation with the Doctor or midwife shall help in getting all the knowledge of preterm labor symptoms and what to do if you have these signs. In case of preterm labor, contact the hospital immediately.

Coping with Polyhydramnios

In breathlessness:
• Things you require should be kept in handy.
• Do household chores in bits
• Take your time doing things
• Take plenty of rest

In heartburn:
• Eat small meals
• Don’t get into bed to sleep immediately after having a meal
• Having food just before going to bed is to be avoided.
• Don’t eat or drink anything that worsens heartburn
• Sleep propped up in bed
• Take an antacid prescription from the doctor.

Treatment of Polyhydramnios

It has to be managed and the woman might need admission into a hospital in severe cases. For relief from nausea and heartburn, antacids may be prescribed. Amniocentesis may be suggested which is a process of amino-reduction.

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