Low tech, non invasive ultrasound alternative

The original Baby Egg Pregnancy Countdown Calendar

The original Baby Egg Pregnancy Countdown Calendar

This is a photo of my friend, Kelly, at a prenatal clinic visit. We took her picture so she could show her friends “See, even though I’m really big, I only have one baby in here!”

I bought this Baby Egg at a Midwifery Today Conference that I attended in Eugene, Oregon. I had to own it when I saw it. I discourage routine ultrasound and recommend that dopplers and imaging devices be kept well away from the developing fetus. I like to kid around with my clients and say “Okay, today we’re going to take a picture of the baby.” They look shocked because they’ve already heard me go on and on about NOT using ultrasound. Then, I bring out the Baby Egg and they get to see their baby actual size and there’s a cute caption on the back that describes what the baby is doing at that week of gestation. I take a photo of them with the egg, like this one, so they can send it to the grandparents or post to Facebook.

The Baby Egg retails for about $16 (U.S.) through Amazon. You can see some sample illustrations on their website at http://babyeggcalendar.com/

7 Step Recipe for scrambling the brain of a baby

1. Allow ultrasound technicians to “date” your pregnancy, see if you have twins, check the growth of your baby. Even one ultrasound affects your baby’s brain. Multiple ultrasounds will move cells in the brain around and also affect future generations of your family.

2. Eat whatever you like in pregnancy. Don’t take the time and trouble to study the effects of over-processed, high fat diets. Don’t worry about buying organic produce and meat.

3. Let your physician induce you. Induction drugs over-ride Nature’s pace of the birth process. They cause prolonged periods of oxygen deprivation similar to holding a pillow over your child’s face. Any form of hurrying you into the birth process or, once into it, hurrying the process faster than it goes naturally will damage cells in the baby’s brain.

4. Take pain-killing drugs during your child’s birth. Every anesthetic goes immediately to the baby so choose whatever one you like. The longer the baby is medicated, the more brain damage is done.

5. Continue on with the interventions in birth by having a cesarean, forceps or vacuum pull out of your baby. None of these procedures are gentle. All involve incredible traction on the baby’s neck and head. Sometimes all three are used on the same baby. Risks of all 3 are increased when inductions and epidurals were brought into the birth.

6. Once your baby is born, feed him/her solutions made by pharma giants like Mead Johnson.

7. Be sure to inject your baby with every toxic pharmaceutical vaccine that your doctor recommends. Don’t do any research. 36 vaccines is the modern North American child’s recommended allotment of mercury preserved toxic waste.

For more information on childhood autism go to Non Toxic Childhood.

Raine Study on the importance of Breastfeeding for mental development.

Update, June 7, 2011
J Atten Disord. 2011 Jul;15(5):423-31. Epub 2011 Apr 28.
Perinatal pitocin as an early ADHD biomarker: neurodevelopmental risk?
Kurth L, Haussmann R.

Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA. Lisa.Kurth@ColoState.edu.

Objective: To investigate a potential relationship between coincidental increases in perinatal Pitocin usage and subsequent childhood ADHD onset in an attempt to isolate a specific risk factor as an early biomarker of this neurodevelopmental disorder. Method: Maternal labor/delivery and corresponding childbirth records of 172 regionally diverse, heterogeneous children, ages 3 to 25, were examined with respect to 21 potential predictors of later ADHD onset, including 17 selected obstetric complications, familial ADHD incidence, and gender. ADHD diagnosis and history of perinatal Pitocin exposure distinguished groups for comparison. Results: Results revealed a strong predictive relationship between perinatal Pitocin exposure and subsequent childhood ADHD onset (occurring in 67.1% of perinatal Pitocin cases vs. 35.6% in nonexposure cases, χ(2) = 16.99, p < .001). Fetal exposure time, gestation length, and labor length also demonstrated predictive power, albeit significantly lower. Conclusion: The findings warrant further investigation into the potential link between perinatal Pitocin exposure and subsequent ADHD diagnosis. PMID: 21527574 [PubMed - in process] ___________________________________________ Update:
Med Hypotheses. 2010 Jul;75(1):53-8. Epub 2010 Feb 9.
Potential teratogenic effects of ultrasound on corticogenesis: implications for autism.
Williams EL, Casanova MF.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA.

The phenotypic expression of autism, according to the Triple Hit Hypothesis, is determined by three factors: a developmental time window of vulnerability, genetic susceptibility, and environmental stressors. In utero exposure to thalidomide, valproic acid, and maternal infections are examples of some of the teratogenic agents which increase the risk of developing autism and define a time window of vulnerability. An additional stressor to genetically susceptible individuals during this time window of vulnerability may be prenatal ultrasound. Ultrasound enhances the genesis and differentiation of progenitor cells by activating the nitric oxide (NO) pathway and related neurotrophins. The effects of this pathway activation, however, are determined by the stage of development of the target cells, local concentrations of NO, and the position of nuclei (basal versus apical), causing consequent proliferation at some stages while driving differentiation and migration at others. Ill-timed activation or overactivation of this pathway by ultrasound may extend proliferation, increasing total cell number, and/or may trigger precipitous migration, causing maldistribution of neurons amongst cortical lamina, ganglia, white matter, and germinal zones. The rising rates of autism coincident with the increased use of ultrasound in obstetrics and its teratogenic/toxic effects on the CNS demand further research regarding a putative correlation.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances, Grant Support
LinkOut – more resources Source http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20149552

Update May 2013 http://www.acog.org/About%20ACOG/News%20Room/News%20Releases/2013/Study%20Finds%20Adverse%20Effects%20of%20Pitocin%20in%20Newborns.aspx Adverse Effects of Pitocin in Newborns

Update: August 2013 Results Compared with children born to mothers who received neither labor induction nor augmentation, children born to mothers who were induced and augmented, induced only, or augmented only experienced increased odds of autism after controlling for potential confounders related to socioeconomic status, maternal health, pregnancy-related events and conditions, and birth year. The observed associations between labor induction/augmentation were particularly pronounced in male children.

Conclusions and Relevance Our work suggests that induction/augmentation during childbirth is associated with increased odds of autism diagnosis in childhood. While these results are interesting, further investigation is needed to differentiate among potential explanations of the association including underlying pregnancy conditions requiring the eventual need to induce/augment, the events of labor and delivery associated with induction/augmentation, and the specific treatments and dosing used to induce/augment labor (eg, exogenous oxytocin and prostaglandins).
Source: http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1725449 or read an article about the study at

Update August 2013 on ultrasound http://www.thedailybeast.com/witw/articles/2013/04/29/are-ultrasounds-causing-autism-in-unborn-babies.html

Quote from the article:

“Manuel Casanova, a neurologist who holds an endowed chair at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, is one medical doctor who is listening. Casanova contends that Rakic’s mice research helps confirm a disturbing hypothesis that he and his colleagues have been testing for the last three years: that ultrasound exposure is the main environmental factor contributing to the exponential rise in autism.”

Article by Jennifer Margulis

Update October 2013 A Mother Shares About her mistakes http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/how-i-gave-my-son-autism/

Update January 2014: “Children born to mothers who were either induced, augmented, or both had increased odds of having autism. Further research should target the agents used during induction/augmentation and acute medical and obstetric events during labor. The results do not suggest altering the standards of care for induction or augmentation but do indicate that additional research is warranted.”

Gregory SG, Anthopolos R, Osgood CE et al (2014). Association of Autism With Induced or Augmented Childbirth in North Carolina Birth Record (1990–1998) and Education Research (1997–2007) Databases. Obstetrical & Gynecological Survey 69(1):7-9. doi: 10.1097/01.ogx.0000442814.50107.fa

Update Aug 30, 2014 http://tacanowblog.com/2014/08/29/cdc-vaccine-autism-research-explosive-new-statement-from-a-lead-researcher/
CDC Fraud: Hid Data that showed a three fold increase in autism for African American boys vaccinated with MMR under the age of 3. Quote: “ The research did initially show an increased risk of autism in African-American boys. Dr. Thompson has shared this statement: “I regret that my coauthors and I omitted statistically significant information.” “

Ultrasound precautions


Here’s a link to an article with more info on ultrasound dangers from Green Health Watch:


These are the kinds of concerns that ultrasound professionals are now studying: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22343238

Low Amniotic Fluid. . . I don't think so

What will it take to stop the inductions for too little amniotic fluid?  This is largely a wrong diagnosis based on ultrasound.  Women are having their births wrecked by midwives and doctors who believe that Biophysical Profile is a valid testing method.  We need to go back to clinical palpation skills and stop depending on sound wave fuzzy pictures to assess the amount of fluid at full term.

Leopold's manoeuvres Here is where the problem begins:

Many North American women are being told at the very end of their pregnancies to go to an ultrasound clinic and have a biophysical profile done. Most are impressed by the thoroughness of their practitioner and have no idea what this test involves or what sort of harm could follow from consenting to this diagnostic procedure. They will probably not be told that there is no scientific basis for having faith in the test results and that no improvement in health has been proved from large numbers of fetuses being “profiled.” Certainly, no one will mention that the only benefits of the procedure are: 1) the ultrasound clinic will earn $275; and 2) the medical practitioner will be able to cover themselves legally in the very rare instance that a baby might die in utero.Until recently, physicians and midwives would tell women who were carrying their babies beyond 41 weeks gestational age to do “kick counts.” If the baby has 10 distinct movements between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., it is widely accepted that the baby is thriving under the mother’s heart. In a culture that loves technology and with the push to expand the commercial use of ultrasound, it was inevitable that someone would come up with a more complex strategy to provide reassurance of the baby’s wellbeing in late pregnancy. Thus the biophysical profile (BPP) was born. Here is the content of the testing, as it appears on the Family Practice Notebook Web site (www.fpnotebook.com/OB44.htm):

  1. Cost: $275
  2. Criteria (2 points for each)
    1. Fetal Breathing
      1. Thirty seconds sustained breathing in 30 minutes
    2. Fetal Tone
      1. Episode extremity extension and flexion
    3. Body Movement
      1. Three episodes body movement over 30 minutes
    4. Amniotic Fluid Volume
      1. More than 1 pocket amniotic fluid 2 cm in depth
    5. Non-Stress Test
      1. Reactive
  3. Scoring
    1. Give 2 points for each positive above
  4. Interpretation
    1. Biophysical Profile: 8-10
      1. Low risk or Normal result
      2. Repeat Biophysical Profile weekly
      3. Indications to repeat Biophysical Profile biweekly
        1. Gestational Diabetes
        2. Gestational age 42 weeks
    2. Biophysical Profile: 8
      1. Delivery Indications: Oligohydramnios
    3. Biophysical Profile: 6
      1. Suspect asphyxia
      2. Repeat Biophysical Profile in 24 hours
      3. Delivery Indications
        1. Repeat Biophysical Profile less than or equal to 6
    4. Biophysical Profile: 4
      1. Suspect asphyxia
      2. Delivery Indications
        1. Gestational age 36 weeks
        2. Lung Maturity Tests positive (L/S Ratio 2)
    5. Biophysical Profile: 0-2
      1. Likely asphyxia
      2. Continue monitoring for 2 hours
      3. Delivery Indications
        1. Biophysical Profile ‹ 4

“Breathing” above refers to movements in the lungs that show activity of the lungs in preparation for life outside the womb. The baby’s oxygen supply in utero comes via the placenta and umbilical cord while in the mother’s womb.

In the past year, I have had a number of letters and phone calls from doulas, midwives and childbirth educators about a flaw in this testing method. An unusually large number of diagnoses seem to be made that “there is not enough amniotic fluid.” This seems to be the factor in this outline that is most often used as an excuse for induction. It is important for parents to know that this is likely an inaccurate assessment. What the ultrasound technician is doing could be compared to viewing an adult in a see-through plexiglass bathtub from below the tub. In such a scenario, it would be difficult to assess how much water is in the tub above the body that is resting on the bottom of the tub. You might be able to get an idea of the water volume by measuring how much water was showing below the elbows and around the knees, but if the elbows were down at the bottom of the tub, too, you might think there was very little water. This is what the technician is trying to do in late pregnancy—find pockets of amniotic fluid in little spaces around the relatively large body of an 8 lb. baby who is stuffed tightly into an organ that is about the size of a watermelon (the uterus). If most of the amniotic fluid is near the side of the uterus closest to the woman’s spine, it can not be seen or measured. This diagnosis of low amniotic fluid frightens the parents-to-be into acquiescing to an induction of labour. Even though the official BPP guidelines do not require immediate induction for a finding of low amniotic fluid, in practise, the parents are pressured to induce. Stories abound of mothers who are induced for this indication and then report having abundant fluid when the membranes released in the birth process. The risks of induction, which can be catastrophic, and the resulting increase in the need for pain relief medication and cesarean section are usually not discussed with the parents prior to embarking on induction of the birth. Be warned that this latest suspect diagnosis using ultrasound is increasing in frequency and causing increased harm to mothers and unborn babies through aggressive use of induction.

After I published the above explanation in Midwifery Today Magazine in 2004, I received  posts from women who had experienced being induced for this diagnosis. Here’s an example:

Thanks for writing this article, Gloria.  It was the one that made me fully realize that my induction (at 41w1d – due to “low” amniotic fluid) & subsequent c/s due to failed induction were almost certainly unnecessary when I first read it in 2004.  Everything you wrote happened to me.  The BPP was perfect besides the fluid measurements.  And then I did have “abundant fluid when the membranes released in the birth process”.

Cathleen in MA


DS 5/03

DD 2/06 (HBAC!)

Here are some medical studies that confirm my alarm over using Amniotic Fluid Index as the reason to do an induction:

Low Levels of Amniotic Fluid No Risk To Normal Birth (2004)

Doctors may not have to deliver a baby early if it has low levels of amniotic fluid surrounding it, Johns Hopkins obstetricians report.

In a study to be presented Feb. 7 at the annual meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in San Francisco, researchers show that babies born under such conditions fared similarly to those born to women whose wombs held normal amounts of amniotic fluid. No significant differences were found in the babies’ birth weights, levels of acid in the umbilical cord blood, or lengths of stay in the hospital.

Typically, doctors have been concerned about women with low levels of amniotic fluid during the third trimester – a condition called oligohydramnios – because too little fluid can be associated with incomplete development of the lungs, poor fetal growth and complications with delivery. Amniotic fluid is measured by depth in centimeters. Normal amounts range from 5 to 25 centimeters; any amount less than 5 centimeters is considered low.

“These study results are very surprising – they go against the conventional wisdom,” says Ernest M. Graham, M.D., senior author of the study and assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics. “Amniotic fluid stems from the baby’s urine, and the urine results from good blood flow, so if we see low fluid we assume there probably is not good blood flow and the fetus is compromised. This study shows the fluid test is not as good as we thought, and there is most likely no reason to deliver the baby early if other tests are normal.”

The researchers studied 262 women (131 with oligohydramnios and 131 with normal amounts of amniotic fluid) who gave birth at The Johns Hopkins Hospital between November 1999 and July 2002, comparing the babies’ health at birth. Patients with oligohydramnios were delivered sooner, but were less likely to need Caesarian sections. Babies born to moms with isolated low amniotic fluid were normal size and were at no increased risk of respiratory problems, immature intestines or brain disorders.

Study co-authors were Rita Driggers, Karin Blakemore and Cynthia Holcroft.

Abstract # 318: Driggers, R. et al,

“Are Neonatal Outcomes Worse in Deliveries Prompted by Oligohydramnios?”

Related Web sites: Related Web sites:

Journal of Perinatology (2004) 24, 72–76. doi:10.1038/sj.jp.7211034 Published online 22 January 2004

An Amniotic Fluid Index 5 cm Within 7 Days of Delivery in the Third Trimester Is Not Associated with Decreasing Umbilical Arterial pH and Base Excess

Rita W Driggers MD1, Cynthia J Holcroft MD1, Karin J Blakemore MD1 and Ernest M Graham MD1
1Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Department of Gyn-Ob, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Correspondence: Ernest M. Graham, MD, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Department of Gyn-Ob, Phipps 228, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287-1228, USA.

Added Sep 7, 2012. Blog post on this subject by “Science & Sensibility” http://www.scienceandsensibility.org/?p=5294

Related blog post
: http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=306