At just 22 weeks gestation, Louise Adams was devastated when her water broke. Doctors told Adams and her husband Jakk that there was only a five percent chance that their preborn son would survive after birth. To make matters worse, doctors also dropped the bombshell that there was nothing they could or would do to save him.
However, Adams got to work researching and found a way she thought might be able to save her baby.
“All they could do is monitor me in hospital waiting for the inevitable miscarriage, which they said would happen in days,” Adams told The Daily Mail. “But I could feel Joseph kicking. I couldn’t just sit around doing nothing to save him.”
What Adams learned is that women in other countries, including the United States, were able to help their preborn children after their water broke too soon by drinking an excessive amount of water. When the mother drinks more water, her baby is also drinking more water and, as a result, urinating more frequently, creating amniotic fluid. After six days in the hospital, Adams was sent home, where she began to constantly sip water, hoping to make it to 24 weeks gestation, when doctors would be more willing to help her son if he were born too soon.
“I shut myself off from the world,” she explained. “It wasn’t easy but I drank around seven pints a day.”
Adams also drank cranberry juice and ate raw cloves of garlic in an attempt to ward off an infection that is common after a woman’s water breaks.
Doctors were skeptical and provided very little hope because there was and is no research to back up Adams’ plan. In addition, drinking too much water too quickly can cause water intoxication and death. However, baby Joseph continued to grow and live in the womb for another 13 weeks. He was born healthy, weighing five pounds, 10 ounces.
“Getting past 24 weeks was the first hurdle as I knew at that point he at least had some chance of survival if born then. Doctors finally gave me steroids to mature Joseph’s lungs and antibiotics to prevent infection,” she said. “When we heard him crying his eyes out, we were overjoyed. He was absolutely perfect and did so well, he came home after just a week.”