Jane Foley's picture


Dear Ms. Ultrasound,
I am currently about 18 wks 5 or 6 days pregnant. I have 2 kids currently and this will be my 3rd birth.

My first child I had at 26 wks due to a placental abruption with no known cause. My 2nd my water broke at about 36 wks.

I just had a ultrasound and they have told me that I have polyhydramnios. Is this something I should be concerned about?

They told me everything with the baby was fine except the excess fluid. Also I have read that you can have severe bleeding after birth. Is that something life threating? Is there anything that I should know? I have read a couple things on the internet but everything seems so bad.


Polyhydramnios, the term for too much amniotic fluid, can be the first indicator of a possible problem with the fetus. A Level II ultrasound should to done by a licensed sonographer or a perinatalogist to assess all of the baby's anatomy thoroughly. Special attention should be paid to the heart which takes a higher level of experience on the professionals part.

Once the Level II ultrasound is done and no anomalies are found (which may be the case with you) the growth of the baby should be closely monitored. I am not sure how much fluid they found. If your Level II ultrasound was normal and the amniotic fluid levels are upper limits, everything may be just fine and you can relax.

The big bad problems that can cause an increase in fluid like musculoskeletal malformations and problems with the intestines are very obvious on an ultrasound and have most probably been ruled out in your case because they are so obvious. The other common abnormality is with the heart and can be missed if the ultrasound is not done by a well trained sonographer.

You may want to discuss the possibilities and statistics of polyhydramnios thoroughly with your OB/GYN. Ask a lot of questions. Ask until you feel comfortably armed with enough knowledge to move through this pregnancy without anxiety and worry.

If after your next ultrasound there is still an increase in fluid, or the baby has not grown appropriately, ask your doctor if you might need an amniocentesis. This is the procedure where they take a small amount of the fluid and send it for analysis.

The good news from your correspondence is that you have been told everything is ok with the baby.

Try not to make yourself too crazy reading excessive "stuff" on the Internet. It really serves no healthy purpose for now.

If you have any further questions let me know.

With Regards,
-- Jane RDMS