What can cause fluid and swelling on the head of a 12 week fetus?
by Amber62308, Oct 04, 2009
I had an ultrasound at 12 weeks (almost a week ago) and it revealed that the baby's head is swollen and it looks like a big fluid bubble on top of its head, covering the top of its head or so,I have to go out of town to a team of better doctors to have a more advanced ultrasound done and possibly an amnio. Im wondering if anyone else has gone through this before and had a good out come, and also what could it be.I was actually told that if the situation was severe enough they would ask me to choose whether or not to terminate my pregnancy, the thing is Im 13 weeks now but my appointment isnt until Im 16 weeks, isnt this too important to wait that long? The baby also looks much smaller than a normal 12-13 week fetus. Any advice would be helpful, thank you.This is a photo of the ultrasound below
Related Discussions
Member Comments (12)
by martikadragoon, Oct 04, 2009
An amnio can't safely be done until 16w, and CVS can't safely be done except between 10-13w.
Fluid on the brain CAN sometimes go away, and also it's a  soft marker for several genetic problems.

I know how tough it is to consider a genetic issue since my first son has Down Syndrome (he was born when DH and I were 21)... so if you need to talk or need support just send me a private message.

by BTS1022, Oct 04, 2009
My daughter was born 7 years ago in November. It was never caught on ultrasound but she also had fluid on the brain...she had Aperts syndrome, a cranial facial chromosome disorder. Aperts is an extremely rare disorder, and usually effects female fetuses/babies. A lot of children can lead partially normal lives with the disorder, but unfortunately my daughter passed away 30 min after birth. The fluid on her brain was not revealed until autopsy. I would google Aperts syndrome, and maybe bring it up to a genetic counselor. There are no tests that can be done to diagnose Aperts syndrome. Most parents don't even know anything is wrong with their baby until they give birth.

If your interested in having your doctor check for Aperts syndrome you can email me for some more info on it. Also have them check for fused fingers and toes...fusing of the fingers and or toes is one of the tell tale signs of Aperts syndrome. There are also other signs such as cleft palete and cleft lip. Eye sockets tend to be shallow as well, and they usually have an appearance of a cone head.

Aperts Syndrome is when the soft spots on a babies head closes prematurely, when that happens it leaves no room for the babies brain to grow normally, so the head tends to grow upwards instead of in a round manner. Closing of the soft spots when in utero can cause fluid or water to develope on the babies brain. I can go further into detail, but this is all I will go ahead and state. If you want anymore info to take to the doctors please feel free to email me. This is a Genetic disorder I am very passionate about, mainly because parents NEVER know their babies have it until birth. I want doctors to be able to make their expecting patients well aware of rare disorders like this, instead of disorders that happen more often.
by Bern_T, Oct 15, 2009
I am currently 19wks and was pregnant with twins in which I miscarried one of them at 8 wks.  I just had my 20 wk sonogram in which I was told there was swelling around my babies head, also his/her heart is pumping slowly and therefore is in distress.

My doctor gave me the option of termination and then tells me if I do carry the baby full term that it won't make it.  I'm looking for a second opinion but in the meantime is also looking for someone who has also been in this same predicament in which a doctor gives you an option of termination but you go against it.

Please help.....

Thank you......
by dangis, Mar 10, 2011
I am going through the same thing right now.  I have to wait a week to find out if the fetus has down syndrome.  I am wondering how often swelling on the back of the head actually translates to down syndrome.  Waiting is painful.
by Taniaq1, May 21, 2012
Im 25 and at 8w they told me about extra fluid around fetus head and said it can be chromosonal abnormality and gave me the option to terminate , so i did DS test so 2weeks after it came bk 1:100000.
At 14 weeks i did a CVS and got the result back as normal but on my 15w the ultrasound showed swelling at the back of its head i am now currently 16 weeks and am goin for my next scan in 2weeks to see if its still there as the dr said my baby could have stability and co -ordonation problem, jus wonderong if anyone else had a similiar problem? And if the swelling was nothing to be worried about?
by Elvine, Dec 01, 2012
Hi I just went through the same thing I had a scan done a 8 week everything wa great but at 10 weeks I went o hospital becaus I was not feeling well and I wa told the baby had no heartbeat an that I had. Really big head which was swollen. In a way that is helping me to grieve.because I am not sur I woul have been able to cope if the baby wa born with abnormally.i know it is hard knowing your baby has a swollen heard but knowing early I bette than knowing late. All he best speak to your doctors or nurses they will advice yu on what to do
by dalty81, Dec 01, 2012
I,m going thru the same I went for my first scan at 12weeks and they told me the nt was too high which is to much fluid behind the babies neck they sent me to see a consulant he did a detailed scan and said the baby was growing normal but could not rule out ds without an amnio we have declined the test and have another scan this thursday I believe in fate so i,m giving my baby a chance to be fine x
by nycpr, Jan 26, 2013
I'm over 13 weeks and found out through sonogram my baby head very swollen . They conducted cvs which came bck abnormal extra chromosone which baby won't make it. Me and my significant other both made tough choice of terminating pregnancy. I'm scheduled for it next couple days I'm trying to deal with it all I can do is cry. I'm 37 scared and I pray everything goes well.
by WantToBeAFather, Jan 30, 2013
My wife is at 16 weeks + 2 and during our first NT Scan at 12 weeks, we were informed that there was an abnormal amount of fluid in the brain and there was no nasal bone present.  We were terrified as they mentioned these were soft markers for DS, but held out hope that our next ultrasound (which was yesterday) would be much better.  Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.  The fluid in the baby's brain advanced a lot worse and at 16 weeks the doctors informed us that the amount of fluid was real bad for a mother at 20-24 weeks, let alone at 16 weeks it was a severe case.  Not to mention that the baby's head is larger than normal because the fluid is making the skull expand more than normal (normal for a baby at 18 weeks) which is a big issue.  We are doing the amnio in the process to see if it is chromosomal related so at least we can rule that out or get a specific diagnosis (DS, etc.).  So now we are waiting for those results and go back in 2 weeks for another ultrasound to see if the swelling & fluid in the brain subsides at all.  We are bracing ourselves for the possibility of termination which we did not expect at all & really don't want to do if we don't have to.  But, if it's as bad as they say, we may not have a choice which hurts the most!  The doctors told us that being that the baby's head is bigger than normal that the fluid in the brain is crushing the brain and being that it's so early in the development we can expect to have a number of issues if we decide to carry the baby full-term through birth (if even possible).  We are absolutely crushed at this point as it's our first baby, we've been together since high school and I am 33 while my wife is 32 years old.  We finally decided to have kids last year and were trying for about 6-8 months before she finally go pregnant.  We were so excited and had no idea that something like this could happen to us.  We are completely depressed and down, thankfully we have a strong support system with our family, but we are looking at some real tough times these next few months & beyond.  Not sure what to do at this point other than continue to offer unconditional support & love to my wife whom I feel so much pain for!