I have a couple questions I would like to ask everyone based on their experiences and expertise.

My 1st one is, how reliable is an ultrasound when it comes to amniotic fluid levels?

Heres why I ask... when I was around 38 weeks pregnant my midwife sent me to get an AFI ultrasound because I was measuring small, she thought my fluid might be low. I measured 8 cm. Then at my 40 week apt I was still measuring small so she sent me for another one. This time they said my fluid was 4cm, and that I needed to go to the hospital and be induced asap. I told them I was having my baby at a birth center and I had a midwife... She said "go to the birth center then." So I went. I sat down with one of the midwifes at the center, she told me that I could no longer have my baby there and that I needed to go to a hospital to be induced, they would help me find one. I was incredibly upset, the thought of having my baby at a hospital scared me to death! I did not want to do this at all. I tried to see what my options were, she told me I didn't have any. I wanted to make sure this was completely necessary, so I asked for a second opinion. She scheduled me for another ultra sound at 10am the next morning. After I left the birth center I went to my local health food store and bought some epsom salt and some Natrum muriaticum (the homeopathic remedy commonly known as table salt or sodium chloride). Then I went to my grocery store and bought some Raman Noodles and Gatorade. I spent the rest of my night bathing in epsom salt, double dosing on the Natrum mur, and only eating ramen and drinking gatorade!
The next morning I went to my ultrasound, my fluid level was 13cm! my midwife was pleased and after that I had to continue getting repeat AFI's every 3-4 days till I went into labor at 41 weeks and 3 days. My fluid level was between 10-15cm with all of them and I continued with my crazy diet the whole time.

My second question is, how did I go from 4cm to 13cm in less than 24 hours? Could it really have been my salt intake?

3rd question, why didn't my midwifes have any remedies for me to help increase my fluid levels? their only advice was to drink more water, which wasn't the issue, I drank plenty of water.

I ended up having a wonderful birth at the center, only 7 hours of labor, and the thought that my experience was almost taken away from me puts a VERY bitter taste in my mouth. If I would have listened to this midwife(thank god she was not the one on call the night my baby was born) I would have been at a hospital being induced and who knows what other interventions would have followed!

I loved having my baby at the birth center and I want to have my future babies at home with a midwife, it's just hard now for me to FULLY believe and trust in a midwife again, knowing that one almost led me down a path I didn't want or need to go. I don't really want to have an unassisted birth, but it feels like its all I have left????

Tags: amniotic, birth, center, fluid, low, midwife, ultrasounds

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I only wish I had questioned the advice like you did. When I got the low fluid reading with my first at 41w3d and no labor signs, I agreed to induction. After a long long labor and pushing, of course I ended up with a cesarean. That turned me into the suspicious, cynical birth-monster that I am now! If I had any clue to try drinking more water and test again a few days later the world might have been deprived of my mouthy rants against the birth industry! Regarding your midwife, a birth center midwife is bound to strict hospital and insurance rules. A good home birth midwife might have told you differently. I am glad your birth still turned out so well.
No it was a freestanding birth center, in CA they cannot take any high-risk pregnancies there, and low fluid would make me "high-risk".
My second son was born at 41w6d and they were threatening induction with me. I did have an OB, not a midwife. My water was "low" and that was one of the issues for induction. When my son was born, the doc (who was oncall, not my regular doc) noted the low fluid, broke my waters, did an amnio-infusion (this was all WAY more intervention than I thought I wanted) but baby was born 2 hours later. Naturally, no issues, beautiful and healthy. The only "side effect" that I saw or heard was that his skin was a little wrinkly. Otherwise, unless they didn't disclose, he was completely healthy. I had a great combination of an OB who used some intervention, but also respected my wishes to have a natural labor without meds.

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