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Have just been diagnosed with excess amniotic fluid at 38 weeks - any advice/reassurance gratefully received!!

(43 Posts)
pansyrose Wed 28-Jan-09 14:23:15

Have had a scan due to my bump size being excessive. It has always been on the outer scale of large and finally (after badgering) they agreed to a scan as the worry was that the baby was enormous.

The baby is averagely to big, not at all enormous, however they have identified that I have excess anmiotic fluid (polyhydramnios) which is why my bump is huge.

I have done the usual stupid thing to do - Googled and frightened myself to death with all the possibilities. I am only reassured by the fact that all scans and other tests have come back completely clear and the baby appears to be extremely healthy. They never tested me for diabetes as apparently I don't fall into a diabetes risk category hmm but I haven't had any other symptoms of diabetes so hope that's not it. Too late now to do anything about it anyway if it is/was diabetes.

Has anyone else had this excess fluid thing and how did it turn out (only good stories please, I am soooo worried.


Pinkbump3 Wed 28-Jan-09 14:36:20

I had excess fluid and never found out till the end of pg as well my baby was big 9lbs 14,i was never tested for diabetes either but i have just been tested this pg. My birth and baby where all good and healthy placenta was huge apparently as well. i never really experienced any problems down to it except the fact that when my waters broke it was a huge ammount! and i was massive when pg always measuring 4 weeks ahead of date.

pansyrose Wed 28-Jan-09 14:50:16

Thanks Pinkbump3. That's reassuring. I have always measured 4 weeks ahead of date too. I am just so worried (1st baby, can you tell smile).

pansyrose Wed 28-Jan-09 15:05:57


Lulumama Wed 28-Jan-09 15:08:51

the fact that all other tests were clear and you have not had a pre term labour are all really good

have you been advised to be induced or are you being advised to wait for spontaneous labour

is your baby engaged at all?

llareggub Wed 28-Jan-09 15:09:24

I had this with DS, although it wasn't picked up until I was induced and the waters kept coming and coming....

It didn't seem to make any difference, but during this pregnancy they've told me that they suspect I had gestatational diabetes last time, due to the polyhydramnios and the fact that DS was on the large side at 37 weeks. I do have GD, but so far so good!

DS is now 2.3 and a healthy little chap. He is tall and skinny and shows no sign of being on the large side. He was jaundiced after birth, but this isn't uncommon.

Relax, it'll be fine. Now they know about it they can monitor you.

snowleopard Wed 28-Jan-09 15:15:34

Same story here - enormous bump and lots of fluid, and had a scan at 38 weeks - DS was big, but not that big (9lb2oz) and no problems were detected. I did end up with a CS because I didn't dilate enough for his big head - but all was well. It doesn't necessarily mean there's a problem, it can just be the way your body does pregnancy. A friend who was pg at the same time as me had literally almost no bump at all - I still have no idea where she was keeping that baby! - and hers was fine too. Good luck, hope everything goes well for you.

pansyrose Wed 28-Jan-09 15:19:24

Thank you both Lulumama and llareggub.

They are inducing me on my due date. The baby's head isn't engaged although it is in the head down position. Baby is very active (always has been) which I am told is a good sign?

I am just so worried as I know that it can be an indication of various things, although the Down's test came back at a 1:4800 risk and the other scans are clear ie brain, stomach, bladder etc. They checked all these organs again in the scan and found nothing untoward. I am just hoping that I have excess fluid is all but Google is not good in these situations, I knew it was a mistake to look.

All they have said is that if waters break in the meantime I should get myself to hospital due to the rare possibility of cord prolapse. Having Googled this I now know I will be putting myself in the Trendelenburg position and calling an ambulance to get to the hospital asap...

Oh gosh, I hope I wake up tomorrow all calm. Everything looks better in the mornings.

SybilFaulty Wed 28-Jan-09 15:23:29

I have had this with all 3 o mine and all have had happy outcomes. Apparently in about 80% of cases there is no reason why the mother has made so much fluid, and of the remaining 20% many are due to gestational diabetes, for which you are not high risk.

I was told that if my waters went it would be spectacular and I should go to hospital asap. The main risk is of cord prolapse where the head is not engaged to act as a bung - what happens is that the force of the waters leaving can cause the cord to become trapped. If this happens, dial 999, open the front door then get on your hands and knees with your bum in the air to take the pressure off the cord. There will still be time and it is HUGELY rare anyway.

I googled and frightened myslef to death on it but it turned out fine each time. Be prepared for a big one though - my first was 9lb 13 at 41 weeks!

All the best.

pansyrose Wed 28-Jan-09 15:23:59

Thank you snowleopard. I have my fingers crossed I have the same happy outcome.

I have a friend who's bump at 35 weeks was the same size as mine at 22 weeks. She was absolutely tiny. In the end baby was born at full term but 6.5lb and fine, I guess different people just do pregnancy differently.

Why did I have to Google though (smacks hand away from Google)... there's absolutely nothing I can do about it if there is a problem. Part of me wants to run to the hospital and get tested for everything but a) this is daft b) its too late and c) it won't change the outcome...

Lulumama Wed 28-Jan-09 15:25:37

ok.. i was going to say about assuming the position and dialling 999 !! so hopefully, you will get through the next two weeks and all will be well.. waiting is horrible.

pansyrose Wed 28-Jan-09 15:26:16

Thanks you SybilFaulty. Is reassuring to hear that you have had it several times and all have turned out to be fine.

SybilFaulty Wed 28-Jan-09 15:27:00

X post pansy.

If your scans have shown a working stomach and bladder, then that is a lot to quell your fear as you know the baby can swallow and can wee. The fact that your baby is very active may also be a good sign, as sometimes babies who have problems may be much quieter in the womb (or so i've read - many o my friends with quieter babies were fine though). Your nuchal risk is really very low and so the overwhelming chance is that you are one of the women who just grows them watery!

Take care and try not to be too anxious. And STEP AWAY FROM GOOGLE! smile

spicemonster Wed 28-Jan-09 15:27:56

I also had this. I was booked for an induction because they were so worried about my waters going but actually they wouldn't do it because my DS never engaged so I ended up having a CS. They said I could wait to see if my waters broke naturally but wouldn't let me leave the hospital! So I decided to have the CS that day.

My DS is fine and wasn't even quite small (under 7lbs) even though they said he was a whopper. Oh and I googled too - you can't help it can you? The likelihood is that everything is fine

pansyrose Wed 28-Jan-09 15:29:24

Thanks Lulumama. The doctor said "if waters break, try to go to hospital soon as you can make it". I will be taking no chances though and would definitely call an ambulance asap should that happen.

pansyrose Wed 28-Jan-09 15:40:29

Thanks spicemonster.

The thing is, all the signs have been there for such a long time. Bump has always measured outside the outer line on the green notes graph. Every time I have gone to the MW from 30 weeks onwards I have commented on how big the bump is, how active the baby is and how it moves around so easily. It has been in all sort of positions from breech to transverse to cephalic, posterior and anterior (suggesting lots of room/fluid to move around in??) and never showed a sign of engaging.

At 35 weeks at a meeting with the doctor (which I asked for and got by chance otherwise it would have just been a MW meeting), I asked if I could be tested for diabetes and was told "no, because you don't fit an "at risk of diabetes" category."

I also asked if my large bump could be due to excess fluid rather than a big baby (this was despite knowing NOTHING about excess fluid, it was just an educated guess that the bump was either baby or fluid) and was told (by the same doctor) that it wouldn't be excess fluid as they would be able to feel that, it was definitely the baby. Hence the suggestion of scan nearer term.

At this same 35 week meeting the doctor went to show the consultant the growth chart and asked if I should have a scan then, plus one at 38 weeks. He said there was no need for a scan then (at 35 weeks) so I didn't get one and the doctor recorded this on my notes "consultant advises no need for scan".

Gosh I feel better for offloading. I must focus on the positive: there are no indications of any abnormalities and lots of people just have excess fluid without sinister cause. End of. smile

Oblomov Wed 28-Jan-09 15:49:15

I too had excess fluid. And when my waters broke, man did they whosh and whosh.
They were already monitoring me very closely becasue of my diabetes, and like you nothing else was of concern, all organs were fine.
So please try not to worry.

Oblomov Wed 28-Jan-09 15:52:54

AND like others, re baby size, being told thst thir babies were bigger than they turned out ot be - Kings kept telling me what whoppers ds1 and ds2 were. Both of them turned out to be about 7lb !!!
Remember that it is only an estimate. Never fact.

Feeltrapped Wed 28-Jan-09 16:23:23

Pansyrose - my friend was told the same thing and like you (and all of us!) immediately googled and scared herself half to death.

Happy to say that yesterday she gave birth to the most gorgeous, healthy little girl

pansyrose Wed 28-Jan-09 16:43:50

Thanks oblomov and Feeltrapped.

Surely if they had suspected anything wrong with the baby they would have flagged it up. She must see 1000's of scans every year and at 38 weeks everything was very clear and easy to see.

pansyrose Wed 28-Jan-09 16:49:49

<<< and breathe! >>>

Calming down a bit now. There is absolutely nothing to suggest anything is wrong with the baby so I really should just assume things will be fine - no point worrying cos it won't change a thing anyway.

Also all your stories help as it shows that plenty of people can have excess fluid and in many/most cases there is totally nothing to it.

There are people with a lot more sinister pg symptoms to worry about than just excess fluid after all. It's like reading up on side effects of paracetomol or cough medicine - if you believed you'd get most or any of the side effects listed you'd never ever take it!! smile

pansyrose Thu 29-Jan-09 09:55:18

bump... any more positive stories/experiences out there re polyhydramnios?

listenglisten Thu 29-Jan-09 10:04:15

I had this with my dd and found out at 36 weeks. I was huge and measuring 47 weeks!

I have to say my consultant was quite cautious and I was admitted for the remainder of the pregnancy and dd was delivered at 39 weeks by c-section (although this was due to unstable lie, she was very active and kept turning and also a previous c-section). They were quite happy for me to go for a vaginal delivery right up until a few days before.

The main worry was cord prolapse if my waters broke. They did once mention the possibility of draining off some of the fluid although I think the risks of this outweighed the slight benefits.

Dd was 9lb 4oz - I think they expected her to be much bigger. The only downside for me was how uncomfortable I got and the amount of people who asked when my twins were due! My sister actually had twins who were both around 7lbs when born and she got nowhere near the size I did.

I hope everything goes well and you are reassured by the stories on here.

VinegarTits Thu 29-Jan-09 10:19:17

I had excess fluid with ds2, was tested for diabetes (negative) and had scan at 38 weeks that showed baby was a normal size, i was huge i tell you, farking enormous, and so so uncormfortable becuase of the size of my bump, so my constulatant agree to induce me a at 39 weeks.

When my waters broke there were floods and floods of it (i swear i saw Noah sail past in his Ark) it was spectacular, i never knew one person could hold so much fluid, i was stood on a ward and it just keep coming, my mum and my sil watched with their jaws in their laps

Later on when i was in full labour, they came and told me 'we have to break your back waters now' i was like waaaaa shock you mean theres more? i was thinking my baby must be tiny

Anyway ds2 was born a bonny 8lbs and perfectly healthy smile

Stay away from google and good luck with the floods, tell your birth partner to take some wellies grin

pansyrose Thu 29-Jan-09 10:42:29

Thanks listenglisten. The consultant (or registrar, I think he was) I saw didn't seem too concerned about it all except to say that induction on due date was best than leaving it til the usual 42 weeks before acting.

He didn't explain or even say the term "polyhydramnios", or explain anything about it, he just said "excess water could be caused by anything such as infection or diabetes but in most cases probably nothing". I got the word polyhydramnios from reading the scan report in my notes - the sonographer had typed it on her report. Hence I google PH cos it's not been explained to me and... you can imagine the panic!

Was there any cause of your PH do you know? did they run any tests? In my case they aren't as it's too late for any management or treatment anyway, he said (great hey).

Also, did they do the nasal gastric tube thing or any extra checks on your DD once she was born?

Thanks, as you can imagine I'm worried (far more worried about the cause and whether or not the baby is fine than the cord prolapse thing.

pansyrose Thu 29-Jan-09 10:48:38

Thanks vinegartits as well, x post (the gas man is here and keeps asking questions about things I know nothing about, so taking ages to type a post out!)

I so hope I am one of the 65% who just carry more water and there's nothing wrong. It's awful to spend the last of the pg in fear but then some people spend the whole of their pg's in fear of very real concerns so I should be grateful. DH is completely unfazed, I wish I was as blase but then he happily watched TV/emailed etc last night instead of Googling smile

listenglisten Thu 29-Jan-09 10:55:06

I was tested for diabetes which was negative. They did tell me it was PH, I think I probably had excess fluid with ds as well but only as they commented in theatre that they hadn't seen so much fluid for a long time.

I can't remember them doing any more tests or even scans of my dd's stomach and other organs.

They didn't use an ng tube when she was born and no other checks. The one thing I do remember is that she was quite 'puffy' for a few days and didn't open her eyes properly until about day 3. No-one was concerned about this.

They never suggested a cause, I know it can indicate problems (was blissfully unaware of this at the time though)but my consultant said that mostly, cases of PH had no particular cause.

Portofino Thu 29-Jan-09 10:59:03

I had this diagnosed at 37 weeks and was admitted as baby was transverse. Spent 2 weeks on ante natal awaiting a CS. Though baby went down head down at last minute and i ended up being induced at 41 weeks. Baby was fine though. And it was spectacular when they broke my waters! I remember laughing hysterically.

pansyrose Thu 29-Jan-09 11:12:24

That's v reassuring LE. (and glad your DD was perfectly well too).

There are so many stories I have read and the one or two cases that were something amiss with the baby, was known about well in advance because it was an obvious and identified condition so the PH was a side symptom amongst many other related symptoms, rather than the only presenting symptom IYKWIM.

pansyrose Thu 29-Jan-09 11:20:35

See I don't know whether or not to be pleased or annoyed they don't want to take me in straight away for observation, or recommend a CS!

They know I have no objections to a CS as I brought it up as an option when it seemed that the baby was going to be a biggie (before the scan where PH was noted).

Also annoyingly is that every time I have commented on the size of baby/bump/fundal height to ALL the MW, 1x doctor and 1x registrar it has been met with "Oh but you're tall". Erm I'm 5'7", not flipping 5'11". Hardly supermodel height am I. Not even regular model height! The registrar chap made the tall comment at the start of our meeting. I said "I'm not actually all that tall", he said "you're taller than me so you're tall!" (he is a short squat man of aroung 5'5" so not exactly hard to beat in a tallness competition!)

I noted his attitude was far less patronising following the scan result though and he booked the induction in there and then, so perhaps next time he won't write someone off for being concerned about big bump just because they are taller than him.

If I hadn't pressed for a scan I would know nothing about PH, or cord prolapse. My waters could have broken and I'd be none the wiser about getting myself to a hospital sharpish.

pansyrose Thu 29-Jan-09 11:21:01

(thanks Portofino BTW smile

Portofino Thu 29-Jan-09 11:32:28

You're welcome! FWIW - at my last scan they estimated that dd would be 9 lbs +/- 25%! I was too scared to do the + sum! She ended up at a more reasonable 8lb 2 oz.

One other thing that i hesitated to mention before, but seeing your comment on CS above....I ended up with an emcs after induction after several hours of pushing led to nothing.

That was apparently more to do with the induction rather than PH (% of inductions end up in CS) but dd's head never engaged due to unstable lie (probably aided by PH).

If I was in the same position again, I'm not sure that i would have insisted on the planned CS originally offered, (though maybe...) but I would have insisted on an epidural during induction - so that the GA hadn't been necessary.

Me and dd were both fine, so I don't want to give stuff to worry about. But I had never even read the induction/CS bit in the book and I think I didn't have all the info to hand when making decisons.

pansyrose Thu 29-Jan-09 12:19:38

I have had the very same thoughts myself Portofino!

I suspect I will end up with an EMCS (not that I am willing it to happen (obviously) just that I can't quite work out how the baby will magically drop into a good position for birthing following an induction.

Surely that would be just luck then, the position the baby "plugs" in, seeing as it has never been engaged? At the scan yesterday it was facing out (ie posterior positioned).

Was it too late in the end for you to have the epidural, is that why you had the GA instead?

I think I will definitely have an epidural. TBH I have lost a bit of faith in the staff I deal with. I don't trust them to do things thoroughly, from recognising the bump was off the scale, which would have led to tests for infections and diabetes (I am so angry I actually suggested one and was refused FGS, I mean, why?! What's a simple blood test? also earlier scanning/monitoring.

For example, even the regular MW I see, I notice she just puts a tick next to the baby's heartrate box. Last time I asked her what the baby's HR was was and she said "I don't know, I didn't read it. My ear just tells me if it's too slow or fast". hmmshock

Sort of fair enough but if she never records the rate any more how does she know, unless we are talking extremes?!?!
In any case, why can't she just take the reading and write it down as she's meant to do?

(rant) grin

listenglisten Thu 29-Jan-09 12:32:25

I think you need to push to get the monitoring you need. My consultant and all of the mw's took PH very seriously.

On another note, if you do end up with a c-section ime it will not be as uncomfortable afterwards than it is coping with an enormous bump! Towards the delivery date, I had trouble getting out of bed, I had to be in a certain position or else I was like a beaced whale and had to be pulled up.

ticklytum Thu 29-Jan-09 12:47:09


pansyrose Thu 29-Jan-09 13:03:53

It really feels like nobody medical really cares, LE. The induction suggestion is the first bit of medical intervention that has been actively offered rather than pushed for or suggested by me.

I have struggled with getting up and down for such a long time too, it's awful, isn't it?! Even getting out of bed, the "roll onto side then swing legs down to floor at same time as pushing up with arms" movement is awkward as my outside arm doesn't reach far enough past the bump, when I'm on my side. Turning over in bed is the very worst, the effort and energy it takes is almost too much sometimes.

My DH has to haul me in and out of the car and off the sofa. I can do it myself but only if I shuffle on my bottom to the very edge of the seat and stand up verrry slowly.

Even the advice to sit leaning forward is awkward, I can hardly breathe as the bump is pushing so hard on my ribs and under my bust. I can see the outline of the bump all the way round very distinctly, like it's a stick-on bump, bizarrely grin

Hi ticklytum, sorry to hear you have the same thing. At least you are being monitored and they can keep an eye on you. Have they suggested you get tested for diabetes or infections? Because if they haven't already, I would ask smile

ticklytum Thu 29-Jan-09 16:46:50

yeah tell me about it know exactly how you feel pansyrose, got two under 6 to look after, im really lucky my sister moving in with me temporarily for 6 weeks till i due
then i moving to theirs after birth most likely to have sec but hoping desp for vba2c.

they tested me for diabetes was negative but not mentioned that it could be infection i will ask them next time in hospital thanks for that.

ticklytum Thu 29-Jan-09 16:56:08

just read one of your earlier posts you 5.7ft im just short of 5.2ft if thats any concillation? i just dont think it is when you feel the way you do! i had big baby before but never felt this immobile, even when i went over two weeks. when you due? and is this your first baby?

Portofino Thu 29-Jan-09 18:19:17

pansyrose, I remember exactly that feeling! I was huge! Getting on and off a hospital bed was so hard. Yes, the reason for the GA was that it was too late.

I was pushing for ages, and aparently dd never moved into the birth canal fully. I managed the whole labour on g&A and pethidine and the pain wasn't that unbearable. I was really tired though and kept asking for an epidural at one point, but they said i was doing fine and didn't need it.

There came a point where dd just seemed to be stuck so then they came to discuss the epidural and asked me if i wanted to go for forceps or a cs. I was so knackered I said i wanted the CS. The rest all happened so quick. I was wheeled to theatre and DH got all gowned up. He initially put the scrubs on over his clothes so me and the MW laughed at him. (See i couldn't have been suffering that much).

Then the consultant turned up, decided the baby was in distress, and that was that - out for the count. Really, the whole labour, even with the drip, wasn't that bad. I was only disappointed not to be awake when dd was born.

mumtojennifer Thu 07-Jan-10 10:00:44

Hi - I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 19weeks, tested early because DD1 was 8lb at 36week and I have a 6'5" hubby! All pregnant mothers are tested routinely for GD in Jersey at 28wk. So I have been scanned 4 weekly since then to check baby size etc. I also had am amnio at 18week with results all clear (phew!) Baby is very active, squirming around all the time, full turns too so it seems! Heartbeat yestetday seemed fast to me but consultant didn't seem concerned.

BUT - I had my midwife & consultant appoint yesterday (next scan in 2 weeks - last one 2 weels ago) and the consultant measured my fundus manually, which they do every time but usually because scanning too the don't really pay that much attention to the manual measurement - anyway - yesterday I measured 45cm! 2 weeks ago (32wk) it measured 36cm and baby was estimated at 5lb. So that is an enormous growth. Admittedly I have an enormous bump compared with DD1, everyone has commented on and I am beyond uncomfortable almost all the time.

Nobody mentioned polyhydramnios. The consultant has booked me a scan for Friday and a review at the diabetes clinic as they are concerned that I might now need insulin to aid my sugars (I'm 35w+2) and I am back in to see the consultant next Wednesday.

My waters did break with DD1....an enormous gush and continual flood for over an hour - believe it or not I was on the loo when it happend - how convenient - and because only 36wk I went into hospital, labour started about 3 hours later.

I am reassured by all your posts on here which have provided me with more info than I currently have. I have not 'googled' - too much information especially during pregnancy is not necessarily a good thing I have found!!

Though not officially diagnosed with this condition my symptomspoint this way - my minor concern now is the risk of a cord prolapse should my waters break this time....guess I'll just have to wait and see.


Momdeguerre Thu 07-Jan-10 12:25:16

I have this too, noted on my last scan at 25 weeks. I am scanned regularly as I also have cholestasis but my fluid levels put me in the 99th centile.

I have GTT testing next week.

My baby is also measuring very big, joy! DS was 9 lbs 1 oz so I am terrified that this one will be 11lbs!!! They are suggesting I may have to have a c section anyway as a result of the combined (and seemingly endless) problems I have had this pg.

Good to hear about other peoples experiences.

mistlethrush Thu 07-Jan-10 12:38:44

My MW decided I had too much fluid at about 32 wks and scared me with the consequences - didn't even need to google it!!!! shock. However, had a scan the following week booked anyway so she didn't arrange an earlier scan. After several sleepless nights spoke to a friend who is a consultant in the business, who told me that, even if there was extra fluid, most probably it was just 'one of those things' and could have been caused by a number of things and would not necessarily result in any problems. As it happened, MW was wrong and I was just having a large baby (10.5, at 39wks).

lostlenore Thu 07-Jan-10 19:35:19


I was diagnosed with this from a scan at 28 weeks, I'm now 31 and frickin' huge! How on earth is everyone else managing to move?

Really can't see me going to term, even going up the stairs has me panting and I dare not venture outside to get some exercise/fresh air in case I fall and pop like a water balloon. Also I can't get to see the MW to talk about it due to the snow so all I have is google and mumsnet!

I was tested for GD at 26 weeks (due to size of baby) and told I didn't have it then the sonographer who told me about the PH said she thought I probably did as it was a symptom of GD. Got an anc next week so hopefully will be able to get to it (!) and then get some answers....

My maternity jeans won't do up! *cries breathlessly in a corner*

Any tips?

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