Complications From High Fluid Level

5 Replies
ErinP - April 3

Hi. I'm 36 wks and my dr. is going to induce me at 38w 2d because my baby's growth is slowing, but in the mean time she seems very concerned because my fluid level is really high. I understand why it would be a problem if it were low, but does anyone know what complications can arise from it being too high?


krissy2006 - April 3

Here is a little blurp I found for you about high amniotic fluid levels. Polyhydramnios (too much amniotic fluid) occurs in about 2 out of 100 of pregnancies. Most cases are mild and result from a slow buildup of excess fluid in the second half of pregnancy. But in a few cases, fluid builds up as early as the 16th week of pregnancy. This usually leads to very early delivery. Polyhydramnios is diagnosed with ultrasound. Medical experts do not fully understand what causes this condition. In 2 out 3 cases, the cause is not known. Here are two of the best-known causes: Birth defects in the baby that affect the ability to swallow. Normally, when the fetus swallows, the level of amniotic fluid goes down a bit. This helps to balance out the increase in fluid caused by fetal urination. Heart defects in the baby. Women with diabetes are at increased risk for polyhydramnios. But they have fewer complications from polyhydramnios than women without diabetes. Women with mild polyhydramnios may have few symptoms. Women with more severe cases may have discomfort in the belly and breathing problems. That’s because the buildup of fluids causes the uterus to crowd the lungs and the organs in the belly. Preterm rupture of the membranes (breaks or tears in the sac that holds the amniotic fluid; also called PROM) Umbilical cord accidents Polyhydramnios may also raise the risk of pregnancy complications, including: Preterm delivery Placental abruption (the placenta peels away from the uterine wall before delivery) Poor growth of the fetus Stillbirth Cesarean delivery Severe bleeding by the mother after delivery


Lia - April 3

What is your AFI number? I have high-normal levels now and I'm 29 weeks. I had it with my DD too, she was born at 39w3days with no complications. Do you know what you are having?


ErinP - April 4

Wow, that is really scary, ,thanks for posting that. I had no idea it could be so serious. Lia, I'm not sure what my AFI is. I'm sure it can't be extreme because I'm not huge, although I am big enough that I've been having severe BHevery 5-30 mins. for weeks, and my dr. said it's because my uterus is too distended from all the fluid. It's also enough that I look pretty big even though my baby as of last week was only at the 10th %ile. I have another u/s on Tuesday and I'll definitely ask what my AFI is, but I know that if it's too high or if the baby's dropped below the 10th my dr. wants me to go to the birth unit to be induced immediately rather than waiting until April 20th.


ErinP - April 24

Just an update for anyone else in the same situation. I had my baby on April 18th, a healthy boy but small (5lbs. 10oz.) There were some difficulties because of the high fluid. My AFI was 27.6, not sure what the scale is like so it doesn't mean much to me. I went into labour on my own at 38 wks, a little early apparently because of the high fluid. I went into L&D with contractions 5 mins apart and they broke my water right away so that it would be controlled. Since the baby was small even though his head was down he was just floating around in all the fluid and couldn't get down far enough, so they were afraid that if my water all gushed out either the cord would come out or he would flip around or a leg would come out or something. So, the dr. broke my water and at the same time had to use her hands to guide the baby's head down. Not very comfortable at all, but it worked and he was delivered normally. It was a little scary because they had to prep me for a c-section since if the cord had come out they would have had to deliver immediately, but thankfully it turned out OK.


softbreeze200 - April 24

oh Erin, CONGRATS on your little boy!! Glad to hear that all went well and he arrived safely! Hope you are feeling well!



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