WWYD if you went into labor preterm? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 58 Old 11-20-2008, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am talking about a little bit preterm, not months. From which time onward would the baby be completely OK? Do you have any "cut off" time at which you would or would not seek medical help if you went into labor? (I am wondering this because I keep thinking I will go into labor early, although there is no reason why that would be the case).

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#2 of 58 Old 11-21-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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36 weeks.

That is the average time when a HBMW would attend a labor. Prior to that a HBMW would generally transfer to the hospital. That is generally accepted as the viability "cutoff", which is the difference between a baby being held by it's mother or being taken to the NICU in a hospital.

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#3 of 58 Old 11-21-2008, 04:36 PM
 
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Personally, I had a "cutoff" of 37 weeks because I'm not trained to deal with breathing issues or any other "preemie" issues, and I didn't own any special equipment (oxygen, etc.) that may have been used to deal with anything like that in a transfer-type situation. I felt that if the baby had issues related to being early at 37 weeks, they wouldn't be as severe as a baby born earlier than that, and I'd have time to transfer. I would have gone to the hospital before that. Weirdly enough I went into labor right on my 37 week mark, I'd had feelings of going early and had to really try to take it easy that last month or so.

Some babies do okay earlier than that and some babies are still having trouble getting regulated at 38 weeks. You need to educate yourself on the warning signs of problem-breathing, temperature regulation, feeding problems, and other things you would want help with in the event of a premature baby.

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#4 of 58 Old 11-21-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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My cutoff would be between 36 and 37 weeks, depending on instinct.
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#5 of 58 Old 11-21-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post
My cutoff would be between 36 and 37 weeks, depending on instinct.
Yeah, probably that. And watching the baby after birth to see if it had any respiratory or feeding issues. I have some stuff on newborn assessment I need to put up and link to one day.

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#6 of 58 Old 11-21-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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I say 36 weeks.

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#7 of 58 Old 11-21-2008, 07:26 PM
 
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I don't have a set age or 'week' in my mind ... at 35 weeks, had I gone into labor and felt things were ok ... I probably would have stayed home and then considered a 911 call or transfer to the hospital if necessary. I figure the baby still deserves a gentle birth and many babies born at 35 weeks breathe well and maintain their body temp.

I think it really depends on instinct and what God is leading me to do.
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#8 of 58 Old 11-21-2008, 10:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mamaperk View Post

I think it really depends on instinct and what God is leading me to do.
This is key!!!

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#9 of 58 Old 11-22-2008, 01:16 AM
 
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For me, I wouldn't before 37 weeks. The majority of babies' lungs are mature at this point but my dds were born at 42+5 and 41+4 (and I "encouraged" dd2 to come) and I'm afraid mine would be the rare one! But if it felt right in my heart at the time, I might just go with it.

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#10 of 58 Old 11-22-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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my cutoff would be 37 weeks. before that i would seek professional help
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#11 of 58 Old 11-22-2008, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the answers - they are much the same as my own feelings, although I heard that some babies are born without problems at 34 weeks I would feel very uneasy about staying at home during that time, and would go to hospital. I think 36 or 37 weeks is already a very different story, and that following your instincts is probably the most important thing you can do.

Is there anyone here who did UC a preterm baby and at how far along (no, not curious )?

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#12 of 58 Old 11-22-2008, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I also saw that many mainstream pregnancy/baby websites consider 37 weeks to be full term, BTW

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
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#13 of 58 Old 11-22-2008, 01:25 PM
 
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38 weeks. My 36 weeker had many problems from being born too soon (dates were 100% correct).

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#14 of 58 Old 11-22-2008, 01:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Amylcd View Post
38 weeks. My 36 weeker had many problems from being born too soon (dates were 100% correct).
Thanks for that contribution. Can I ask what problems your baby experienced from being born too early?

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
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#15 of 58 Old 11-22-2008, 01:48 PM
 
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I considered somewhere between 36 and 37w to be my personal cutoff. Right around 36w, I might have considered homebirth, but I would have called my backup MW to come, instead of attempting a UC, as she has more experience and has oxygen, etc. I read that most babies' lungs are actually mature by 34w, but that's not always the case, and I'm not sure I'd want to risk it (especially since we're not that close to the hospital). Also, I think it may depend on the particular mama. For me, all of my babies have come after 40w, so 36 would be really early for me, very possibly early enough to be worrisome. Even 37 or 38 would be really early for me. Otoh, if I normally tended to have babies at 37w, 36w might not be too worrisome.

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#16 of 58 Old 11-22-2008, 02:52 PM
 
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My cut-off was 36 weeks (unless my intuition told me otherwise). I tend to grow very big babies and even at 36 weeks I'd likely have a baby that was 7lbs or larger.
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#17 of 58 Old 11-22-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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I've had a 36 weeker and a 33 weeker. There was a huge amount of difference between the two in terms of development, with my 33 weeker needing a 23 day NICU stay and my 36 weeker coming right home. She was a bit jaundiced however, and breastfeeding was a pretty big challenge. She was just 5 pounds 4 ounces at birth.

My closest friend had her son just 2 weeks before I had my younger daughter (33 weeks). They were in the NICU together. He was quite large for a 34 weeker, as he was 6 pounds. However his lungs were not mature and he was on a ventilator for a week or two and then on oxygen for a couple more weeks. He had a 30 day NICU stay and went home on an apnea monitor. Bigger does not always mean more developmentally mature.
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#18 of 58 Old 11-22-2008, 07:05 PM
 
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I have some stuff on newborn assessment I need to put up and link to one day.
I'd really appreciate it if you would post it here!

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#19 of 58 Old 11-23-2008, 05:01 AM
 
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Ds2 was 37 weeks & totally heathy, so for me I think I'd be comfortable with 36 weeks.

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#20 of 58 Old 11-23-2008, 10:04 AM
 
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Even at 36 weeks problems can and do happen. I have had two 36 weekers. One is alive and one is gone, due to her lung development. If you think 36 weeks is fine, I encourage you to give it some thought. I had 36 weeks as the cut off for my homebirth when I really should of gone to the hospital.

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#21 of 58 Old 11-23-2008, 12:05 PM
 
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Someone directed me to this post, as I don't often post here anymore (infact it's been over a year, I'm sure). I had a 37 weeker (hospital) with my first (girl) and everything was 100% perfect with her. No "sticky lungs" or anything like that.

My third baby (second UC, boy) was born at 35 weeks, 4 days. I really believe he WOULD have been fine. Maybe just sticky lungs. However, there was an undetected infection in our bodies (I had flu-like symptoms for the last 4-5 days, which should have been a tip off, but no one thought anything of it). His placenta also ruptured and died somewhere in that last week. So he came out purple, non pulsing cord, placenta in pieces, I hemorrhaged, his placenta was very gray in color, and he was struggling to breathe. It took about 45 minutes and between the two of our problems we decided to head to the hospital. The only reason I decided to wait this amount of time, is because I know other mama's who's baby would sometimes take up to an hour to fully pink up. Seth would start to turn pink, catch his breath, and then start struggling again. He ended up spending 3 weeks and 12 hours in the NICU. He was diagnosed with having premature lung disease and "an infection" in his body. (no term was ever given for the infection. He was just put on a lot of medications, and had breathing tubes up his nose for almost the whole 3 weeks)

Honestly, 35 weeks is still my *cutoff* time. I'm not scared about UCing a premie of this age again, despite the problems with DS, because we know that the problems were caused by the infection.

Also, I pointed out "Girl" and "boy" because (as even the NICU nurses will tell you) girls are almost always stronger than boys, and will have less problems than boys at an earlier age. (It's actually a joke, in a lot of NICUs, that because a majority of babies that come in there are white boys, they are "Whimpy white boys", it's funny in an ironic sort of way. I've known a handful of baby white boys who've had problems, but really no girls. So if you're white and having a boy, that's another thing to consider in this decision!)

HTH!!
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#22 of 58 Old 11-24-2008, 02:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, lots of replies! Great! I think the only possible conclusion is that they key is to listen to your own instincts when you do go into labor, pretty much as in any other case, preterm or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LifeHasAFunnyWay View Post
Also, I pointed out "Girl" and "boy" because (as even the NICU nurses will tell you) girls are almost always stronger than boys, and will have less problems than boys at an earlier age. (It's actually a joke, in a lot of NICUs, that because a majority of babies that come in there are white boys, they are "Whimpy white boys", it's funny in an ironic sort of way. I've known a handful of baby white boys who've had problems, but really no girls. So if you're white and having a boy, that's another thing to consider in this decision!)

HTH!!
This is interesting, and something I didn't know... Being a woman I do think it makes sense though . I do meet all the criteria too, so it will be taken into account if preterm labor does happen. Thanfully time is kind of running out for that though :

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#23 of 58 Old 11-24-2008, 02:43 PM
 
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I think the only possible conclusion is that they key is to listen to your own instincts when you do go into labor, pretty much as in any other case, preterm or not.
Yes, definitely. I was going to come back and edit my post to say something similar, and got busy and forgot.

I had a gut feeling through my whole pregnancy with DS that something was going to go wrong at the end, but that I should still labor and birth alone at home. Honestly, I am so glad I did. I would not go back in time and go to the hospital in place of UC. If I'd gone to the hospital, chances are they would have tried to stop labor (causing him to die) or given me a C (making things so much worse, esp since I was already bleeding so much. They were about to suggest a transfusion right when the PIT kicked in and my uterus finally clamped down. I can't imagine what would have happened with a C.).

Obviously though, if you have any inkling that you SHOULD go to the hospital, then get going! Never disregard your own instinctual feelings. They're usually right.

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Thanfully time is kind of running out for that though
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#24 of 58 Old 11-24-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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My absolute "cut off" time is the 34 wk mark. After that I would take it on a case by case basis made on intuition, Godly wisdom, and basic comon sense.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#25 of 58 Old 11-26-2008, 06:27 PM
 
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I would feel comfortable birthing a baby from about 35 weeks on, but that is because I live close to a hospital and I have previously birthed at 37(water ruptured at 36w5) weeks to a 7lb3oz. perfectly ready baby. Also, like PP's I feel strongly about listening to by intuition(isn't that a big part of UCing anyways), and if anything was telling me to get it to the hospital or to get assistance, I would in a heartbeat.

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#26 of 58 Old 11-27-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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I like one of the previous posters said, between 36 and 37 weeks depending on intuition. I read a story recently about a 36 w 5-6 days babe born with breathing difficulties at home who passed away the next morning. In that situation, I may had gone ahead with the homebirth (depending on what my intuition was telling me) but then taken the baby in as precaution. To me, seeing a babe that early with difficulties, I'd automatically assume preterm and seek medical assistance. I'm so sad for that family of that baby, but I am greatful that we mamas can learn from each other.

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#27 of 58 Old 11-27-2008, 09:51 PM
 
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For me it would depend if I knew for sure my dates. If I knew for sure I was over 37 weeks I would stay home. Earlier than that, I don't know. It would depend how I had been feeling and what my gut was telling me to do.

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#28 of 58 Old 12-01-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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It's really individual, IMO. With DS, I still kick myself for not staying home at 35 weeks 5 days. I originally said I would wait until 36/37 weeks with this pregnancy, but have been doing a lot of reading and am completely at peace with anything after 34 weeks. It is something that I will pray about with EACH pregnancy. Just because I feel that I would stay home with this baby at 34 weeks doesn't mean my next baby will be the same way. We're also only 5 minutes max from a hospital, so a transfer would be fairly quick and easy if needed.

Somebody just posted on another UC site an article that I really found touching and kind of cemented my feelings on early babies. Let me see if I can find it...

Momma to DS1 4/5/06 nursed with IGT to self-weaning at 27 months, DS2 1/20/09 still nursing, DS3 due late November - planning to tandem with IGT and SNS
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#29 of 58 Old 12-01-2008, 08:52 PM
 
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Quote:
(It's actually a joke, in a lot of NICUs, that because a majority of babies that come in there are white boys, they are "Whimpy white boys", it's funny in an ironic sort of way. I've known a handful of baby white boys who've had problems, but really no girls. So if you're white and having a boy, that's another thing to consider in this decision!)
Yes, my mother is a pediatrician and has said the same thing. She said strength or health of newborns is almost always in order; white girls, black girls, black boys, white boys. She said they call white boys "stupid" which I think is horrible But it's the way it is, according to people who see NICU babies every single day. (I wonder where Hispanic children or mixed race fit in, I'll have to ask her.)

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#30 of 58 Old 12-01-2008, 08:54 PM
 
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Yeah, I apparently "got lucky" (in reality my body KNEW that something was going wrong and grew DS in response) that my 35 week 5 day little white boy was fine.

Momma to DS1 4/5/06 nursed with IGT to self-weaning at 27 months, DS2 1/20/09 still nursing, DS3 due late November - planning to tandem with IGT and SNS
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