Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
My Baby
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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My Baby

I am 23 weeks as of tomorrow and I had an ultrasound a coouple of weeks ago and the results came back that my amniotic fluid was a little low so they sent me to another doctor to get a second opinion. I went to the second doctor and he confirmed the fluid was decreased and he also noticed fluid around the baby's heart. He put me on bedrest for about a week and to see him again next week. He see's the kidneys and bladder and they're fine and even the growth of the baby is fine but is concerned on why there's fluid around the heart and wants to rule out working my body too much and to bedrest for a week and see if the results change when I see him next week. My question is, can this be just a simple problem that will go away or am i looking at something serious with the two problems going on? Im really nervoius and scared for my baby and i feel like everything is always waited out.
773637_tn?1327450515
Dear Pamela,

Without evaluating you and your baby, it's difficult to say what's going on.  The causes of fluid around the heart in utero include an infection of the space around the heart (called pericarditis) or the heart's decreased ability to meet the body's needs, called congestive heart failure or hydrops fetalis.  Neither of these, especially in the face of oligohydramnios (low fluid), is particularly encouraging.  Unfortunately, I'm not sure that there is much that can be done here, though I have very little information to work with.  I would recommend that you be seen by a perinatologist, which is an obstetrician who specializes in high risk pregnancy.  You may also need to be seen by a pediatric cardiologist to do a fetal echocardiogram, a detailed cardiac ultrasound of your baby's heart.
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