Questions? Ask Henci!
Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to Goersitemail@aol.com.
You must establish a username and password to participate in the Ask Henci forum, click here to submit your request.
I’m 32 weeks pregnant and was just diagnosed with Cholestasis of Pregnancy due to elevated bile salt (aka bile acid) levels in a blood test. My bile salts are 13.4. My doctor told me they watch any levels over 8 (meaning I have to get non-stress tests twice a week and blood tests once a week) because there’s an increased risk of stillbirth. I’ve been planning for a natural childbirth, but my OB group told me if my levels go up to 40, they’ll induce labor. If they stay where they are, they’ll induce labor at 39 weeks. Even if I go into labor naturally b/4 39 weeks, the doctor said I’ll need to be on the Electronic Fetal Monitor continuously, which I was hoping to avoid. Do you know anything about Obstetric Cholestasis or normal bile salt levels? What are the true risks of stillbirth associated with it? Is it necessary to induce labor to prevent stillbirth? I’d like to know any information you are aware of.
I don't have any information on this pregnancy complication. I
suggest you ask the questions you posted of your care provider. I
also recommend asking where you can go to get further information
on your problem, its potential consequences, and the treatment for
it. What I can do is provide some questions to ask that will get
you the information you need to make informed decisions about your
care. For treatments, the list is:
I don't have the stats you are looking for either; however, I have worked with a woman who developed choleostasis as well who had been planning a natural delivry with a midwife, and had to change her plans. Apparently, there is a serious increase of the stillbirth rate at a certain point. This woman was monitored and induced at 37 weeks. I'm sure that the timing of induction has to do with the bile salt values, etc....
In any case, she is due again, and since choleostasis often repeats, she consulted her sister-in-law and brother-in-law who are both naturopaths who advised her to do a number of things to encourage healthy function of her liver. Their main goal was to help her have daily bowel movements, and this can be assisted by: warm water with lemon in the morning, followed by a brisk 30-minute walk, breathing exercises, lecithin capsules, extra fiber and fluid, and various herbs. I would suggest that for yours and your baby's health (no matter how the birth actually goes) that you consider consulting someone expert in dietary therapies who has knowledge if not experience of this condition.
Shayna By: shayna
All Times America/New_York
Please note that this Forum is intended to help women make informed decisions about their care. The content is not a substitute for medical advice.