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Prem baby, 6 weeks early!!

(53 Posts)

Hi Ladies, My waters broke new years day at 33 weeks and my baby will be born by section in a few days at 34 weeks. Was just looking for some shared experience, and maybe what to expect. How big she will be? if she would be poorly. Thannks x

HDee Sun 06-Jan-13 14:58:52

My daughter was born exactly 6 weeks early and weighed 4lb 13oz. She was initially taken straight to SCBU. She wasn't breathing when born and needed 'extensive rescusitation' so that was why. If baby is breathing and screaming when he comes out you will get a chance to say hello before he is taken.

The most likely problem initially will be keeping the temperature stable so he may be in n incubator. He will have a feeding tube in either his nose or mouth going to his tummy, and he will probably have his arm splinted with an IV for antibiotics as your waters have been gone a while.

It will take a few days for him to establish feeding. They tend to get tired very quickly at that gestation.

My daughter was out of an incubator the same day as being born (she was born early hours of the morning) and out of SCBU and with me on Transitional Care within 36 hours.

We managed to get breast feeding going very well and came home on the evening of day 6, against medical advice so by all accounts expect to be there for at least a week or two.

Basically you can't rush baby, and they do what they, when they are able to do it.

Have you had steroid injections for baby's lungs? That will improve the chances of him not needing cpap when he is born. If cpap is needed, it probably won't be for long.

HDee Sun 06-Jan-13 14:59:45

Not sure why I thought you were having a boy, sorry. Good news is that girls always do better statistically than boys.

Hi, thanks for reply, I have had 2 doses of steroids for her, and I am on anti biotics 4 times a day until she is born, Ur little girl sounds a good weight, but guess the weight isnt the most important thing either its how mature there lungs are, I want to breast feed too, so hoping I can get her on as quick as poss. xx

HDee Sun 06-Jan-13 15:10:35

I exclusively breasted my daughter after about three days, again against the nurses advice. They maintained that I should also have been expressing and topping up through her tube as she was too small to feed properly.

Luckily I had the benefit of having breastfed two previous babies so I could tell she was feeding well. My argument was that if she was feeding, then being tube fed too, she's going to be too sleepy to wake for her next feed, leading to another tube feed where she is stuffed full and the cycle continues.

We did lots and lots of cuddling, again something that wasn't wholey encouraged so I could respond to her cues for feeding. The days in NICU were just spent with her on my chest.

Remember, just because baby is in SCBU, she will still be YOUR baby. You can touch her and pick her up whenever you please. Don't let the nurses make you believe you need their permission.

Thank you thats really helpful, I have 1 other child, and sadly breast feeding didn't work out to great with him, but I am absolutely determined this time, I no i can do it smile

BionicEmu Sun 06-Jan-13 15:56:02

My DS was born at 34+1. He weighed 6lb 3oz! Didn't go to SCBU, came on the normal post-natal ward with me. Had some issues keeping his blood sugar up so he had to have some formula, but then was discharged with me at 2 days old.

Was re-admitted at a week old though as he'd lost a lot of weight, turns out he had a very poor suck reflex. Was then tube-fed for about a week, and finally discharged after 10 days. He was admitted to a general children's ward though, and we were given a private room so I or DH could stay with him all the time.

Good luck!

Thank you for sharing that BionicEmu would be amazing if this happened for me too, I didn't realise how well she might do at this stage smile

Heavywheezing Sun 06-Jan-13 19:14:02

My two nephew's were born at 34 weeks, both 4.10 .

Neither needed scbu, or any extra help.

Keep visitors away though so they don't give the, colds etc.

My sil expressed her milk but the baby's both preferred formula and thriving is the name of the game here.

PrincessMononoke Sun 06-Jan-13 19:16:15

Hi, my dt's were born at 30 weeks, 3lb3 and 3lb4, they had 5 weeks of special care.
Having steroids should help your dd lungs, like other posters have mentioned she may need help to regulate her temp so could be in an incubater and may need nasal tube feeds until she is strong enough to feed.
Prem babies are often jaundiced so she might need light therapy.
I bf my 2 I needed a lot of support to get the hang of it and they were very sleepy so it took a lot of patience but we got there in the end, I had a lot of help from the breast feeding nurses who came down to scbu from the post Natal ward.
Good luck.

FoofFighter Sun 06-Jan-13 19:17:11

Friends baby was born late last year at same stage, weighed 4lb 13oz and was out in 3 days after temperature had stabilised. No scbu, no tubes, no drips.

Think of the worst obviously but don't assume that heavy intervention will be needed as it's not always the case by a long shot.

Wishing you well smile

Thanks for ur stories, It's just nice to know all the things to expect, Of course she could be fine and not need much help but I think she is going to be very small, she already measured small through out my pregnancy x

therugratref Sun 06-Jan-13 19:23:37

My DT's were born at 34 + 2 weighing 4lb 12oz and 5lb. One spent 4hours in special care due to low blood sugar the other came straight back to the ward. They are now strapping 9 year olds.

MrsSpencerReid Sun 06-Jan-13 19:24:41

My son was born at 34+5 by hospital dates he needed scbu but I think that was more to do with my health issues than anything else, why don't you ask if you can have a look around before c day then it might not seem so bad if baby ends up there? We were in nearly 2 weeks cos I couldn't get DS to bf, I did what the midwives told me even though it didn't seem right! So go with your instinct smile the thing that still upsets me now is that I didn't get to see him before the tool him to scbu, they brought him to me but I couldn't see him, I should have asked ten to turn him so I could see but I was an emergency section, my partner only just made it and I was so scared I didn't say anything hmm maybe mention to your OH/midwife that unless it's impossible you want a quick peek! Good luck, will be thinking of you and baby smile

MadameJ Sun 06-Jan-13 19:56:25

Hi OP, my DD was born at 34 weeks and weighed 6lb 6oz (so looked huge in Scbu!!!), she needed help with breathing when she was first born and because of this and my health she was taken to scbu and she was fitted with a feeding tube.

She came back to me the next morning and we stayed in the transitional care unit for 12 days as she had jaundice and needed phototherapy. We were discharged after this point but she still had her feeding tube as BF'ing was very tiring for her, so we did a mixture of both.
Her feeding tube was removed 4 days later and her weight gain was fabulous and she was BF until she self-weaned at 17 months.

Establishing feeding was hard but I was lucky in that she was my first so I spent lovely days just snuggled in bed with her having full access to the breast whenever she wanted so if this is possibly I would definately recommend it.

DD is 2 now and you would never know she was premature, she walked before her 1st birthday and has a great vocab for her age.

Good luck with everything smile

Twattybollocks Sun 06-Jan-13 20:42:46

At that stage, about 4lb is the average (50th centile) I believe. Some babies will need help breathing, some won't, some may be slow feeders, some will be fine. Most will need careful watching for temperature, simply due to their size. at 34w they are only 3 weeks from being considered full term, so nearly cooked anyhow.

GoingGoingGoth Sun 06-Jan-13 20:57:13

My DD was born at 34 weeks, 3lb 7, she'd stopped growing, they think for about 4 weeks.
We got to hold her before they took her SCU, she was there for about a month, started in an incubator but didn't need any assistance with breathing, it was just getting her to feed was the problem.
She's now 8, a little smaller than her classmates, but great vocabulary (sometimes too much!)
Will be thinking of you, hope everything goes well.

MrsReiver Sun 06-Jan-13 21:03:21

Hiya, my DS was born at exactly 34 weeks nearly 9 years ago. He weighed 5lb 10 (apparently he could've been 10lbs if he'd gone full term shock) didn't need SCBU but was in a special warm bed in a side room with me. Like other early ones here, he struggled to maintain his temperature and blood sugar, and he was very, very sleepy. We tried so hard with BFing, but the support was shite and I felt very, very pressured to put him on the bottle. But that was a long time ago, and I was in my early 20s and didn't stand my ground.

Developmentally, he hit all his milestones slightly later than his peers, but always within the "normal" range - just at the later end. However by the time he was 2 he had caught up.

He's now a strapping 4ft 6 8 year old, who towers over the kids that seemed so big when we were all at baby group together.

If you're planning to have any more, you will be very well looked after during subsequent pregnancies. I'm currently 33 weeks pregnant with our second and have had regular scans and consultant appointments to check the levels of fluid and functionality of the placenta. So far so good, no sign of this one coming early, I think its very, very cosy where it is.

Good luck xx

FuckityFuckFuck Sun 06-Jan-13 21:12:19

DS was born at 32 weeks and weighed 4lbs 2

He needed help with his breathing and only just avoided having to be intubated, instead he was on CPAP, basically a breathing mask (which we called his trunk) for a day and then it was gradually reduced.

He had a feeding tube for a couple of weeks, was jaundiced, was in an incubator for a couple of weeks, had a blood transfusion and came home after 23 days.

He is now nearly 4 and could talk for britain, he is still a little scrawny (for want of a better word) but perfect

It all sounds very scary, and it can be but make sure you ask lots of questions. The nurses should encourage you to touch/hold your baby and be as involved as you can be in the day-to-day care of your baby.

Hopefully, you won't need to worry about any of that lot though. There were a few babies in and out in the same night whilst we were there.

Wishing you well

Thanks for all sharing ur stories, given me alot to think about, I do think its best to expect the worst and hope for the best, and just keep everything crossed she comes out tough and not needing much help x x

squiggleywiggler Sun 06-Jan-13 21:38:15

Hello, wishing you all the best for this week. Some great thoughts above.

In addition you might want to have a quick read about Kangaroo Mother Care [KMC]: - basically keeping baby on your chest skin to skin as much as possible which is shown to regulate breathing, heartrate and temperature as well as promoting breastfeeding.

There's some great info about breastfeeding the premature baby on Dr Jack Newman's website too:

Depending on how forward thinking/experienced in KMC the paediatricians/midwives/nurses are they will be more or less receptive to you doing lots of skin-to-skin, so it is worth letting them know you are keen to breastfeed and do KMC (if indeed you are!) and asking to speak to someone who is experienced with it.

Thanks squiggleywiggler really helpful smile

PacificDogwood Sun 06-Jan-13 21:47:55

Here's my story:

Ds2 was born at 31+3 by em CS, weighing 4lbs exactly. He was ventilated for 24hrs and had CPAC ( a machine to help him breathing when he didn't do it well enough) and oxygen a while longer. He came home aged 5 weeks, so still before his due date.
He is not almost 9 and built like the proverbial outhouse grin.

Be prepared that your baby may not be able to feed immediately. It is important that you start expressing colostrum as soon as is practical for you and then every 2-3 hours, at least once during the night. A hospital grade electric pump made all the difference for me. My milk was frozen and stored until he was able to have some down his feeding tube (which he then vomited back up, the wee sod wink!).

Yy to lots of skin to skin, this is possible even with tubes and lines (not as long as ventilated if she turns out to need that).
I almost second looking at the Dr Jack Newman site - he is my BFing hero.
Also Kellymom is a site full of evidence based information.

It is scary to have such a small and fragile baby, but her chances of being well and thriving are huge.
V best of luck when the time comes.
Btw, my recovery from the section was fine as well.

BrusselSproutsFartyPants Sun 06-Jan-13 21:51:29

My DD1 was born at 34 weeks exactly weighing 3lb 1.5oz. I had pre-eclampsia so she was born by ELCS and was small for gestation. She was whisked straight to NICU where she stayed for 3 weeks and I then back into hospital for 5 days before bringing her home.

At 34 weeks they said her sucking reflex wasn't developed so had to be fed through a tub. They did let me use the equipement for expressing but the bottle fed babies were all being allowed home and I felt bad causing her to stay in hospital longer than needed.

She was sick a fair bit to begin with so she had to have a stomach x-ray to make sure that there wasn't anything going on but apart from that she was very healthy, if a little on the small side.

Really hope everything goes well for your family, it is a scary thought!

Thank u, ur story is very positive + i hope to have a similar experience. If i get the chance i will have to come back and share with u all how things turn out x

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