M.W. asks from Romeoville, IL on February 23, 2008
Help! - Romeoville,IL
My girlfriend was just diagnosed with Preeclampsia. They have released her from the hospital and put her on bed rest. She is 34 weeks pregnant and they are saying her unborn daughter is 5lbs 6oz. They would like to do an amnio to check for something in the fluid and determine if they need to go in and get her. They are more concerned for my friend's health (her kidneys). She is worried about the baby being hit by the needle, or other risks. Has anyone gone through this? Any advice? her husband and her are supposed to be making some decisions soon. Also, what sort of things should I be thinking about for her for a premie? THey do not have a lot of family and I would like to help them out, her husband and her should be thinking about her and the baby, not this other stuff.
So What Happened?™
I can't thank everyone enough for all their support. You ladies are great for sharing your personal stories. I gave my friend all the information I got from all of you and it helped keep her relaxed, which is very important. I was able to be present for the amnio and she did great. She had a beautiful baby girl on Thursday. She was able to have her natural which was great too. She was 6lbs 2oz and 18 inches long. She is perfect and mommy is doing great also. So thank you again, and a big thank you from Katy and baby Hayden!
J.S. answers from Peoria on February 24, 2008
My son is 18 years old now and I had this exact situation. I was diagnosed when I was seven months. I was not very cooperative as I had two other children and it seemed hard to stay on bedrest. After one more month, my BP was at 190/110 and I was a stroke candidate. They did the amnio which determined his lungs were developed even though he was under 5 lbs. The amniocentesis is not very invasive for either mom or child. The benefits outweigh the risks. By the time I listened to my doctor, I was spilling proteins, had to be on IVs in the hospital for a week and my son was doped up for two days after he was born and I am lucky and grateful he is a wonderful, delightful child today. Trusting the doctor is the key for me today because they believe in happy outcomes. J.
R.S. answers from Chicago on February 24, 2008
I have not had preeclampsia, but have had an amnio. The amnio is safe if the doctor is good. If she trusts the doctor, then she and the baby should be fine with the amnio. Good Luck!
R. answers from Chicago on February 23, 2008
I understand your worry, but your friend seems to be in a pretty good position right now. My sister had preeclampsia and needed to deliver at 30 weeks. Her daughter was under 2 lbs. Thank goodness everything is fine now, but it was very scary.
As for premie needs, I'd just help her find some premmie clothes and just be there to provide some support. Good luck to them.
S.B. answers from Chicago on February 25, 2008
Hello M. W,
I am a mother of two beautiful girls, 10, and 8 who were both preemies- 2lbs, 12 oz., and 2lbs, 13oz. I also had Pre-eclampsia with BOTH girls. My condition started in the 20th week of each pregnancy. My OB told me this only usually happens in the first pregnancy, and 10% in those.
Anyway, I did NOT have an amino. I was on complete bed rest for 9 weeks ON THE LEFT SIDE is best. Boy that was fun... I don't recommend having an amino, unless there is another factor involved. Preemies, especially girls, do VERY well after they hit the 4 pounds and 3l- 32 week gestation age.
In MY opinion, I would not have it done. My daughters were given "Surfactant", a drug used to help the under-developed lung mature faster- through a breathing tube. (It looks worse than what it is.)Your friend, even though her body won't be completely ready to produce the level of breast milk she would if at full term, she can still pump the best milk the baby needs right at birth,(called Colostrum). I was not a big fan of breastfeeding at first, although it was very beneficial to my daughters. (Please don’t think I am not trying to push breastfeeding and/or pumping if she wasn’t planning to! - it is a very personal decision). The Breast milk has an advantage over formula because it contains proteins that help fight infection and promote growth. Special fortifiers may be added to breast milk (or to formula if breastfeeding isn't desired), because premature infants have higher vitamin and mineral needs than full-term infants. Nearly all premature babies receive additional calcium and phosphorus either by adding fortifier to breast milk or directly through special formulas for preemies.
I attached a link to follow about the amino.
Also, something I was itroduced to at Christ with my 2nd, called "Kangaroo Care" it is a great way to bond between mom (&dad) and baby.The beby can hear her heart beat and comfort her just when she was in the womb . Kangaroo Care, also known as skin-to-skin care, the baby is placed on the parent's chest, only in a diaper and cap covered in a blanket to keeep her temp up. The baby's head is turned to the side so that her ear is against the parent's heart. If needed, Vent tubing and wires are taped to the parent's gown. Usually, two nurses assist in the transfer from warming bed or isolet to the parent's chest. If you are interested, here’s my story; it may be helpful?
With my 10 year old, I was having mild contractions (they must have been mild, I did not feel them at all.) her heart rate decreased very low, to 70- 85BPM. Should be 130-170. They watched the d-cells, (drop in heart rate) for an hour and a half so, and then decided to do a C-section. I told my OB, "This was not the plan I had in mind!" My husband made it back to So.Sub Hospital right after the surgery. I was terrified; this being my first baby, my husband just left to go home for the night- prior to all this happenings, my blood pressure was getting higher and higher, and knowing she (and I) wasn't ready for this. My OB's were great. They held my hand for the support I greatly needed and calming me down. I was put completely under. Jessica was born at 29 weeks, weighing in at 2 pounds, 12 ounces, 15 inches long. She was so little and fragile- her skin so thin, you could almost see through. She was given "Surfactant", a drug used to help the under-developed lung mature faster- through a breathing tube. She looked so helpless lying on her back. She did great; vent for the first 24 hours, ( to make sure everything went fine. She started the sucking reflexes pretty quickly. She stayed in the hospital for 5 1/2 weeks. She came home weighing 5 pounds. Through those weeks, she did better and better. The only problem we had was my body wasn't ready to produce enough breast milk she needed, so we supplemented with pumped milk, and special preemie formulas.
The second baby was the “second copy” I could follow the first pregnancy to the week. With the exception I had very high levels and was risk for sezures and stroke-went into ecpalmispia, and we knew what to expect and handle the birth a little better.
They both are doing great. (with the exception of going into the tween years!)
Please feel free to email me or your friend email me if you have any questions!
I apologize to all who read this, and said, wow that was a long story!
I wish the very best to you, The new Mommy and Daddy, and family.
K. answers from Chicago on February 23, 2008
At 34 weeks the prognosis is very good. In most cases the respitory system is pretty much developed, and they tend to do well. My premie was 4 lbs 12oz and 24 weeks as well, is now 5, and totally doing great-
The first month is a little rough, with more than average feedings, but iy goes by fast.
Good luck to your friend, who is lucky to have a caring friend like yourself. (:
J.W. answers from Chicago on February 24, 2008
You sound like a wonderful friend, that is great. No experience with premies. More than anything, make dinners for them to freeze and eat, or go get some Dinner by Design gift cards. People forget that the parents need to be taken care of too, who will more likely be too exhausted to cook!
T.P. answers from Chicago on February 23, 2008
The amnio is to check for lung maturation - to see if the baby can breath outside the womb without artificial means. I had an amnio at 35 weeks and a scheduled c-section the next day. My little guy was 5 pounds when he was born and dropped to 4# 8oz before leaving the hospital. Thankfully he is growing and thriving very well and had no complications when he was born.
The amnio is uncomfortable, but it is a very routine procedure with very few risks associated with it this late in pregnancy. Unless the doc can find a good pocket of fluid to go into they won't do the procedure. They use an ultrasound to guide the needle so you can either choose to watch or look away. It is very quick - under 5 minutes from start to finish.
As for having a a preemie, your friend will need preemie diapers and some clothes. Babies r Us has a nice preemie section. Also, a bouncy chair that vibrated was the only thing my guy would sleep in for the first month or so - that might be helpful. Soothie pacis were also good.
Best of luck to your friend!
V.F. answers from Chicago on February 24, 2008
tell your friend to follow the doctor's orders and stay in bed, only getting up to use the bathroom and then right back to bed. As far as the danger of an amnio, the procedure like everything in life has risks, but it is done with an ultrasound so the doctor does not hit the baby or harm the baby. The amniotic fluid is then analyzed in the lab and the maturity of the baby's lungs can be accurately determined. If the baby is mature enough, regardless of the weight, the doctor may choose to induce her now and end the danger of pre-eclampsia hurting your friend. The doctor is doing what is best for both of them; I hope all works out well. I hope this information helps!
L.S. answers from Champaign on February 24, 2008
I think they check lung development - that is usually the major concern. They did the same with my cousin and everything went fine.
B.N. answers from Champaign on February 25, 2008
I had to have an amnio with my last son. I was 35 at the time. Don't be afraid of the needle hurting the baby. They used an ultra sound to see where the baby was so it would be safe. It doesn't hurt that bad either, just like someone pushing gently on your tummy. It is best for your peace of mind knowing that the baby is safe or if surgery is needed. Good luck, Barbara Nolte