Advertisement

How much amniotic fluid is too much? Viral TikToker 'lost buckets' after her water broke — what to know about risks

TikTok users were "stunned" to see the "tons of fluid" a woman had before labour. But is it normal? Here's what you need to know.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.

TikToker Emily Boazman went viral for showing how much amniotic fluid she released after her water broke. (TikTok/@emilyboazman)
TikToker Emily Boazman went viral for showing how much amniotic fluid she released after her water broke. (TikTok/@emilyboazman)

A viral TikTok stunned social media users after a pregnant woman shared how much amniotic fluid she released once her water broke — "buckets" of it, she said.

Emily Boazman captured herself sitting on a toilet moments after her water broke, with viewers being able to hear copious amounts of liquid being released from her belly. Boazman captioned her video saying: "After it broke, I was able to breathe for the first time since about 16 weeks! Who else had a ton of amniotic fluid?"

Thousands of TikTok users in the comments were shocked to see how much fluid actually came out, and how "deflated" her stomach looked right after — showing the outline of her baby.

"Is that safe?!," one person questioned, while another added, "That is so wild! I didn't realize how much amniotic fluid comes out!"

"The outline of the baby in your belly has me stunned! I never noticed this when my water broke. You had tons of fluid!," someone said.

Several people questioned whether she was diagnosed with polyhydramnios, a condition where there is too much amniotic fluid around the baby. "Wow! Did anyone ever tell you you had polyhydramnios? The difference really is remarkable!," one TikToker commented. "I had polyhydramnios with four out of five of my pregnancies! I was HUGE," another added.

But what exactly is polyhydramnios and are there any risks with having too much or too little amniotic fluid? Here's what you need to know.


What is amniotic fluid and what does it do?

Human fetus in the uterus, scientifically accurate 3D illustration. Early fetal period, week 8 - week 16
Human fetus in the uterus, scientifically accurate 3D illustration. Early fetal period, week 8 - week 16

Amniotic fluid is a liquid that surrounds the fetus in the amniotic sac during pregnancy.

Dr. Lynn Murphy-Kaulbeck, a maternal fetal medicine specialist in Halifax, N.S., told Yahoo Canada the fluid, initially derived from the placenta, becomes a product of the fetus itself. "Amniotic fluid, after 10 weeks, is essentially the baby's urine."

This fluid is pivotal for protecting the fetus from external trauma, ensuring the umbilical cord doesn't become compressed and compromise nutrient delivery, and supporting fetal movement — crucial for muscle development.

Amniotic fluid also plays a role in maintaining a consistent temperature, essential for a baby's healthy growth, and supports lung development.


Is there a 'normal' amount of amniotic fluid a person should have?

The volume of amniotic fluid at about 34 weeks into the pregnancy averages 800 millilitres, and at full term (40 weeks), it averages about 600 millilitres. However, it can vary for numerous reasons and there can be repercussions of abnormal fluid levels.

"You have what's called oligohydramnios when there's not enough fluid, and polyhydramnios when there's too much," Murphy-Kaulbeck explained.

Side view close-up of pregnant woman touching her belly. Pregnancy health & wellbeing concept.
Side view close-up of pregnant woman touching her belly. Pregnancy health & wellbeing concept.

Oligohydramnios might result from a leak in the membranes or inadequate production. Low fluid levels can lead to compromised lung development and physical deformities due to the fetus's restricted movement. "If there's no fluid, then the baby can't move, they can't learn to breathe, they get contractures," Murphy-Kaulbeck said.

The lack of fluid can lead to pulmonary hypoplasia, where the lungs do not develop properly, and positional deformities due to restricted movement. Additionally, oligohydramnios increases the risk of umbilical cord compression, potentially compromising the fetus's oxygen and nutrient supply.

Polyhydramnios can stem from various causes, including maternal diabetes or twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome in cases of multiple pregnancies. "It can lead to preterm labor, maternal discomfort, and issues with lung capacity," the expert stated.

The excessive fluid can strain the mother's body, leading to discomfort and respiratory issues. For the fetus, the increased risk of preterm birth can result in complications.


How do I know if my amniotic fluid amount is normal?

Murphy-Kaulbeck explained monitoring amniotic fluid levels is integral to prenatal care and can be detected via ultrasound.

Routine ultrasounds, typically around 20 and 32 to 34 weeks, facilitate early detection and intervention, minimizing potential risks. "Most women will get their ultrasound at 20 weeks for anatomy, and fluid is assessed then," she noted, adding any concerns are typically identified and managed well within the pregnancy term.

Management strategies, however, vary based on the underlying cause; for example, diabetes control can mitigate polyhydramnios, while amniotic fluid adjustments can address oligohydramnios, although options are more limited in this scenario.

While the thought of abnormal amniotic fluid levels might be concerning, Murphy-Kaulbeck advised expectant mothers to trust in the process of routine check-ups and ultrasounds. These procedures are designed to catch and address any anomalies early on, ensuring the well-being of both the mother and the fetus.

Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @YahooStyleCA! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.