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low amniotic fluid--were u induced??

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
hi...i just had a dr's appt today and did an ultrasound and biophysical profile...

the baby is IUGR/SGA (intrauterine growth restricted/small for gestational age)....my amniotic fluid index came up 3cm...anything below 5 is considered extremely low...so now the dr. sets up an appt on thurs. to check it again and if it stays the same he wants to "get things going" by the end of the week or beginning of next week...(btw, i'm 36 weeks today)--i've been on bedrest for the past 2 months and getting ultrasounds twice a week to check baby's growth and amniotic fluid

did this happen with anyone else(low fluid)? was it because of the chance of cord constriction/heart decelerations during labour? what was the outcome? etc...

i'm not really scared or anything but not too happy with the idea of having to induce but if it's best then at least i know what i did was 'ok'

any info/experiences u can give would be great...
post #2 of 14
Hmmmm, I had a BPP too but because I was at 43 weeks, they said the fluid was a little low too, I went in the next day to get induced- had no problems with that.

Sorry, I guess I'm not much help... to you and good luck on the decisions you have to make!
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
so how did they induce? pitocin? did u have to get any epidural or anything..really i dont know what to expect..

i know that pitocin causes harder, longer contractions and other complications and many women then got epidurals because the pain was so intense, etc etc etc....

how did u manage the pain? what was their reason for inducing for low fluid--did/would it affect the baby in any way?

post #4 of 14
I was induced at 42 weeks for the reasons you mention. I had pitocin, and since my baby had heart rate decels during labor, an amniotic infusion as well. This meant that I couldn't move around as planned, which was a major pita, but I had good midwifery care, and everything turned out ok.

At the time, I didn't know that pitocin contractions were any different than the normal kind, and since I hadn't planned on having any drugs, it never occurred to me to ask for any. If I had to do it over (and now that I've had a second kid without being induced, I know what the difference is), I would ask for the epidural in a heartbeat. In a heartbeat!

My induced baby was cranky, fussy, and had problems bf-ing for the first 4 months, but I don't attribute this to a medicated birth at all, since I've seen plenty of similar kids who were born without medications, and plenty of induced babies with none of the problems mine had.

Good luck and best wishes!
post #5 of 14
Originally posted by zinemama

At the time, I didn't know that pitocin contractions were any different than the normal kind, and since I hadn't planned on having any drugs, it never occurred to me to ask for any.
I hear ya! I don't know if I would get an epidural, but maybe something to take the edge off. I thought when I was going through it "those lying b!tches! I'm dying here!!". It was really painful. Pushing was a breeze though...

I went in on a saturday, and for about 8 hours had pitocin IV and they monitored the baby, and I had some very manageable contractions. They gave me a shot of morphine (therapeutic rest they called it) to help me sleep (I would have slept way better without it though - wacky dreams!) and help my ueterus rest. Then they started it up again the next morning, and after about 6 hours labor kicked in with a bang! 6 hours of contractions, 3 hours of pushing (that really only felt like 45 minutes to me!).

I'm still pissed I had the induction, and that I didn't know more about it beforehand (I thought if I was in denial I wouldn't have to get induced). I managed the pain by burying my head in a pillow and not talking to anyone. They were like "can you breath in there?". I was like "f off".
post #6 of 14
I feel a bit concernend about you only being 36 weeks and your doc wanting to induce. Often ultrasounds (even the "best" ones) are wrong about size and level of amniotic fluid.

I don't know much enough about it to give advice, but I would recommend you ask on the midwives board about what other measures you can take diet-eise to improve your baby's chances of getting more time in the womb. Maybe more protein to help with growth... I don't know what else.

Also, really push your doctor to find out what all your options are before induction. Ask questions like "What are some other options? What will happen if we don't do x? What are all the side effects of x? What if the scan is wrong- is it more risky to chance that or to take a baby out before it's time?"

And, I wonder if you didn't know you had "low amniotic fluid" if your body would tell you in some other way... It has been my experience that most complications reveal themselves at an appropriate time.

I'm sorry to not have answers, only questions. I hope it all turns out beautifully for you and that you and your baby have a special birth together.
post #7 of 14
Hi there, I had low amniotic fluid w/ both my pregnancies. With my first I was planning a homebirth so we didn't have any ultrasounds until my 9th month. That was beacause the heartbeat was dropping. I went into the hospital 4 days before my due date to have cervical ripening done. That's when they put gel or a pill on your cervix to hopefully start it to thin out. I went in the am and by early evening having contractions. BUT my homebirth midwives were with me and gave me blue/black cohosh every hour and I used the breast pump too. All which helped me start labor. Emma was born the next morning.

With my second they found low amniotic fluid earlier but because I went with a cnm and had ultrasounds in my earlier pregnancy. They put me on bedrest @ 32 weeks and I had Joey at 38 weeks almost 39. But my fluid level was at 8 and they were all freaked out. Which I knew wasn't that low because with Emma I had almost none.

What I gathered about low amniotic fluid is that if it is low they are worried that the placenta isn't functioning well thus not prviding enough nutrtion to the baby. Also that the cord might become constricted during labor. With Emma her heart rate dropped low when I was pushing and I had an emergency c-section. HOWEVER the midwife felt it was unnecessary. I also foolishly went back to the same cnm's with my second and I had a planned c-section because of the low amniotic fluid. Which I KNEW was unnecesary but I was scared into thinking it was necessary.

Emma was born at 5lbs. 2 oz. and Joey was born 2 1/2 weeks early at 5lbs. 12 oz. Both extremly healthy and not one problem with breastfeeding. When I went into the hospital with Emma they had me on an IV with fluid to help with the no fluid issue. My labor went very smooth and it was unmedicated (until the c-section).

I hope I didn't scare you that isn't my intention. I just wanted to give you my experience with low amniotic fluid. My health care providers were very vague with me about the whole issue and I had to find info. on my own. Like what was considered low amniotic and average. Pm if you have any more questions or ask them here.

Oh yeah I also agree with moonglomama in that scans can be wrong. I got several different readings done all with different technicians and the ALL varied sometimes drastically. Also with my non stress tests with Joey they were all fantastic which shows if your placenta is functioning well or not. HTH.
Take care, Katie
post #8 of 14
I would also be very, very worried at 36 weeks with an induction! Holy moly.

Here are two great articles from Mothering about the bogus world of routine and non-medically indicated induction:


That first article references low amniotic fluid. I really think you are in a gray area here for medical induction. I'm worried because one of the fastest ways to a c-sec is to be induced. Further, if your baby is only 36 weeks AND you end up with a c-sec, then your baby's lungs and entire respiratory system may not be mature enough (due dates are also bogus) to handle the assaults and your baby may suffer greatly or end up in the NICU at a minimum.


I would at least read about Pitocin, how it is not FDA approved for labor induction, and realize that no matter what your doctor says, your baby may NOT be ready for this world and your doctor will not be there to pick up the pieces for your child if their immune system, respiratory system, brain are not ready to be functioning outside the womb.

Babies born naturally, without induction and c-secs have better outcomes overall. That is a medical fact. I know you love your baby so much and only want to do the right things for him/her. I encourage you to really question if this is the right thing for you and your baby, because the decisions you make, you will live with and your child will live with for lifetime.

Take care and good luck to you and baby.
post #9 of 14
My son was 5 lbs 9 oz induced 6 days before his due date mostly due to his small size and low amniotic fluid. He was also diagnosed with IUGR and a two vessel cord and I had to go to the doctor 2 -3 times a week to check on how the baby was doing. I also developed high blood pressure the last few days. I was induced with Pitocin and I made it a few hours before getting an epidural. I didn't want the epidural, but it was probably the best thing. My contractions were so strong I could hardly breathe and nothing seemed to help. I didn't even feel them with the epidural.

My son did get stuck when I was pushing. They ended up needing to use a vacuum. He had trouble nursing with latching on and I had trouble with inverted nipples. So after a few months we were able to say goodbye to formula and breastpumps. It was a lot of hard work though.

My son's birth wasn't ideal, but he is now a bright little guy who is an eager eater. I don't regret the epidural, but if I didn't end up with high blood pressure at the end I would probably question being induced since my son was always doing very well everytime they checked. The fluid was just a little low - too low for an amnio, which they considered for other reasons.
post #10 of 14
If I were you, I would double my water intake before going in to get the fluid levels checked again. I'm surprised they didn't suggest that to you. How can you produce more fluid it you don't take in more water?

I'd try to make sure to drink at least 3-4 liters of a water a day...
post #11 of 14
There are recent studies out showing no correlation between low amniotic fluid volume diagnosed via U/S and negative outcomes. This is quite contrary to what was previously thought. Yes very very low levels of amniotic fluid can casue trouble, but it is better to diagnose during labor if the baby begins to have trouble. Just asking for trouble to try and diagnose before. Just a big maybe.

My IUGR story. I supported a mom in labor being induced at 36 weeks for IUGR. Diagnosed on ultrasound at 32 and 35 weeks. Baby estimated to be 3.5 lbs at 36 weeks and needed to get out to recieve nutrition on the outside. (The Dr said) Induced with cytotec labors and birth fine a 6.5 lb baby boy!!!! The ultrasound was 3 lbs off. Baby has to go to the NICU for trouble breathing, because it was premature. It pops a hole in its lung and needs a chest tube inserted to drain air. The baby nearly died because the Dr misdiagnosed. This is not an uncommon scenario. Eat well be patient and wait for your baby to choose its own due date. Get second and third opinons, get one from a very experienced midwife who can palpate well with her hands. Many times more accurate at assessing baby size and amniotic fluid.
post #12 of 14
Some articles of interest....

From Reuters:

From anther mother with low fluid as well (she went with induction i think):
post #13 of 14

I hadn't fet the baby move at all today, and by 3:30 in the afternoon, I was getting nervous. I ended up in the hospital for a non-stress test, and it turns out that I also have low amniotic fluid. They want to see me twice a week until I deliver, and want to induce if I go below a 5. My head is spinning- I don't want to compromise the birth that I want, but I also am completely unwilling to compromise the safety of my baby. I have a Dr who is very supportive of natural childbirth- thank goodness I can see him tomorrow. He has always been very candid about risks and benefits, and sice he's a GP, he's always been frank about the downfalls of OB's and obstetric practices in general. Glad to find this thread, and to see other perspectives.
post #14 of 14
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