I am posting this for a friend, who is freaking out.
She is 17 1/2 weeks. Having a hospital birth. She was offered the alpha feto-protein test, which she got today (she's 30). The result was positive, indicating a neurotubal defect. Ultrasound was done, which showed baby was fine, no defect, everything where it should be, spine, skull, stomach, kidneys, etc., but indicated that she had low amniotic fluid. Doc said hers was 2.5, where it should have been 6.
Doc ordered bed rest, drinking 2 gallons of water a day.
Could someone please give me some info on this? Maybe some websites to direct her to?
How accurate is this business about the AF? Are they scaring her for no reason? They told her the baby could die.
What can she do to help increase AF? Is 2.5 really a problem at this stage?
Anything you guys could tell us would be greatly appreciated.
At 17 weeks low AFI could be a serious problem. Most often it's a problem with the baby, because amniotic fluid is mostly baby pee, but it could also be a placental problem. Does she have high blood pressure or a clotting disorder? Both of those can cause the placenta to function poorly and therefore the AFI to be low.
AFI is difficult to measure, so she should make sure that the same person is doing the measurement each time. However, an AFI of 2.5 is so low that I doubt they were off that much. Normal AFI is usually between 8 and 24 (I think), and that number starts to go down the further along you get. So at 37 weeks it is fairly normal to have an AFI of 6, and it's not a reason to induce or anything. They usually want to induce if the AFI gets below 5. Long term low fluid can cause death (cord compression), but usually causes birth defects, things like club foot because the baby can't grow the way they are supposed to. I gave birth to my dd early for a low AFI (clotting disorder), and she is now over 2 and still walks funny and can't run because the AFI was so low for so long her ligaments and such grew in an abnormal way. She will grow out of it, though.
It sounds to me that bedrest and 2 gallons of water a day is a good treatment. They can hospitalize her and give her an amnio-infusion so the baby can stay in there as long as possible, but hopefully resting and staying ultra-hydrated will be a good enough treatment for her. It seems like most people who have this end up having a normal pregnancy just by watching their water intake and resting some. This is more true in the absence of confounding health problems.
I hope this was helpful to you, and your friend.
Drinking water is important as it actually does reach the uterus that way which an IV doesn't. This mus be scary for your friend. I hope she finds some information and comfort.
I just read in a back issue of Mothering mag that the AFP test is only 50% accurate. The article was in the March/April 2004 issue in the "Your Letters" section. She was told that her baby tested highly for Down Syndrome but when she delivered her full-term "happy, healthy baby girl"...no Down Syndrome!
Low amniotic fluid is not something tested by the AFP test. They measure the fluid when they do an ultrasound. They discovered mine was low at 33 weeks. It kept dropping and my DD was born at 34 weeks. She had a tortucullis in her neck (wry neck) but that seems to have been the only problem w/ the low amniotic fluid. An OT had us move her head regularly and it cleared up by 6months.
Low amniotic fluid is very serious, especially that early. She should definitely rest & drink all the water recommended.
Good luck to her.
My water broke at 16 weeks 4 Days, not really sure why. I am now 19 weeks and 1 day, I have been on bedrest and drinking a ton of water. The baby is fine, right now, strong heart beat, moving, etc. My A.F. was at 3.8 the week before and 2.8 this last week. I brought up Amnioinfusion to my doctor who then proceeded to call UCSF and they said they won't do it because of risk of infection by introducing a needle. Doesn't make much sense to me, I want this procedure done, at least it would be giving my unborn a bigger chance of survival. Does anyone know how often your A.F. reaccumulates. Or know of any perinatologist that does amnioinfusion, I know it can be done I found a case in Venezula that they did serial amnioinfusion on a girl and she had a healthy baby girl.
I am scared that my fluid may not accumulate fast enough and something bad may happen, and I am really upset that I found a solution and can't find anyone tht will even try it.
Amnio-infusion during labor through an intrauterine catheter. This added fluid helps with padding around the umbilical cord during delivery and is reported to help lower the chances of a cesarean delivery.
Injection of fluid prior to delivery through amniocentesis. The condition of oligohydramnios is reported to often return within one week of this procedure, but it can aid in helping doctors visualize fetal anatomy and make a diagnoses.
Maternal re-hydration with oral fluids or IV fluids has shown to help increase amniotic fluid levels.