When is too early (gestation) to UC? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 11-05-2005, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, I'm planning my first homebirth, a UC. I am 33 weeks pregnant today. I do not have a history of going early with my other kids, but here's my situation . . we are moving out of state in a few weeks (I'll be 36 wks along then), anyway dh is already out in our new state to work for 2 weeks before coming back to come "fetch the family, (LOL). So, I was wondering . .if I were to go into labor while he is gone (33-35 weeks pg), should I attempt a UC? I have no problem with doing it alone, I just want to know if it is too early. Of course the lungs likely wouldn't be very well developed. So, transporting the baby after delivery would be likely anyway, right? Ugh. .I can't seem to find any info on this anywhere, and I can see why someone really wouldn't want to give too much advice since no one wants to be held accountable if they recommended a UC at 33 wks and something went wrong.

I am really confident about UC, but this is just the only thing on my mind.

So, I guess at what point do you all consider UC "safe". After 36 wks? 37 wks? I'm not asking for medical advice or anything, of course whatever anyone says, I can take it or leave it right? LOL I'm just wondering, for each of you,personally what would you do?
Thanks!

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#2 of 22 Old 11-05-2005, 05:11 PM
 
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*Personally* I would have a UC. Like you said, if something were to go wrong, you can transport at that time. I just don't feel comfortable in hospital settings... AT ALL. I feel like there is a better chance that a preemie (whose lungs are functioning) would grow stronger with mama and hir milk in a quite place like home... as opposed to be naked strapped into a heated plastic box. I was in your situation very recently... so this is pretty well thought out for me.

Also, of course no one really wants to consider this... BUT, I figured that if I had a micro preemie and s/he was not meant to live, I would want all the time I had with hir, at my breast, in my arms.... not across some sterile room with pumps and tubes running every which way. That's just me, though. Lots of mamas have very stong opinions on this, and naturally, I respect them all. It's just what I feel most comfortable with.

Take it easy, try not to stress toooo much, and drink lotsa water! That's what finally stopped my early (like 28 weeks!) labor during such a move.
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#3 of 22 Old 11-05-2005, 07:01 PM
 
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Just from my previous NICU experiences, I would not attempt to UC before 36 weeks. Many preemies before 35 weeks need oxygen of some sort and even at 35 weeks can have problems maintaining their body temperatures, with jaundice, and with nippling feeds. I've seen 34 weekers that have needed the vent for some time. I would be comfortable UCing from 36 weeks on since most after that gestation need no medical assistance (even though 36 weekers are technically still preemies).

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#4 of 22 Old 11-05-2005, 07:13 PM
 
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Moving is so stressful, wishing you a peaceful smooooth transistion there!

IMO, and subject to vary lol, at this point in my life I would stay home and UC at any point in time of gestation.
22 weeks is just too early in most cases (for ex.) and I'd rather baby be warm and comfortable in my arms and not away from me being poked and prodded while waiting for the inevitable. If advancements in preemie care have been made (you can save them earlier and earlier I haven't read up on it much lately) I don't know and I don't think it would make a difference in my judgement call.
24-28ish weeks I would be waffling back and forth and just trust that I would do what felt right if goodness forbid I was in that situation.
After that I would do my best to stay home caring for a newborn preemie, likely naked to my naked chest and always in a sling, even while sleeping (likely ina reclining position lol), nursing on demand of course. This is called kangaroo care and it's been shown to reap fantastic results in NICUs who have tried it.
I had a full term baby in the NICU for three weeks and am not keen on repeating that experiecne again unless I had to, and if I did wind up there w/ baby, I'd be doing my utmost to encourage kangaroo care (which I'm sure in the NICUs my ds1 was in would have been beyond ultra-radical)
Baby's awake, I hope that was somewhat coherent.
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#5 of 22 Old 11-05-2005, 08:58 PM
 
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There are a few things to think about with a pre-35 week preemie.
1) is their brains, nervous system is not fully developed so they can stop breathing (apnea of prematurity) and then the reflex(?) doesn't kick in to get them going again. Babies typically stop having this problem after 35 weeks.
2) Many preemies don't have the suck/ swallow thing down until 34-36 weeks and need some sort of help, like tube feedings.
3) Lungs can definately be an issue, the earlier the more likely they are.

Those were the problems my 30 week preemie had until he was about 35weeks. We went home when he was 36 weeks and he was/ is great, fine, normal, etc.... My concern would be that a pre35 weeker would need some extra help and that they would otherwise be a totally healthy kid, but lost oxygen to the brain etc and then had more problems.

You should do what feels right. I hate hospitals but we made it work for us and learned a lot, so I thought I'd share some of what we learned.
Hope everything goes well for you.
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#6 of 22 Old 11-06-2005, 12:43 AM
 
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Personally, I would stay home after 34 weeks (only 9 days from now, ). I would try to stop labor before 37 weeks by drinking a couple glasses of wine, taking a warm bath, and lying down, but if that didn't work I would wait until the baby was born to see if a transfer was necessary. Of course, we only live a couple minutes from multiple hospitals, so it's easy for me to take that stance. If I lived 10+ minutes from the nearest hospital, I don't think I would UC before 35-36 weeks.
Hopefully, of course, neither of us will have babies in the next couple of weeks!
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#7 of 22 Old 11-06-2005, 01:06 AM
 
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Jesse, kangaroo care is VERY common in NICUs now. As soon as my ds was stable enough to be out of the isolette the nurses were sticking him up my shirt every time I went to visit. It was quite funny actually. Of course, when they are so small you can only do one thing at a time with them due to the possibility of overstimulation, so if I was doing k-care I couldn't rock or talk, just sit. It was quite the experience.

M.

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#8 of 22 Old 11-06-2005, 11:49 AM
 
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I didn't plan a UC but with my 2nd I thought a lot about and did some research on the "what ifs" because my homebirth midwife lives over an hour away (or more depending on traffic).

For me personally I would have gone to the hospital if I'd gone into labor before 36 weeks. I hate the hospital and the system you get sucked into (BTDT for a short while with 1st baby after a transfer from birth center) but I would want to make sure baby was breathing OK before bringing baby home. I knew it would be really unpleasant, especially being treated like a wacky homebirther, but OTOH I felt much stronger and more informed (even though I was strong and informed the first time around) to deal with the system.

(Oh, and FWIW my huge 8 lb 8 oz 42 weeker in the NICU? With nothing more wrong with him than rapid respirations? I was encouraged to leave him in his plastic box "because babies need lots of quiet and rest to get healthy." And this is at a Level III NICU at one of the best hospitals in this area....so I was definitely prepared to stand my ground this time around because I know better than those nurses what my baby needs.)

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#9 of 22 Old 11-06-2005, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thanks ladies! You've been so incredibly nice- I know this could've stirred up some debate which was NOT my intention, so it was really nice to read such genuine personal responses!! Awesome mamas you all are!!

I'd still love to read some more if anyone else would like to share.

I hope to make it full term (which according to my history, won't be a problem), and share my UC birth story with you all!

Thanks again!!!!

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#10 of 22 Old 11-06-2005, 02:54 PM
 
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I've had 3 UC's and take the same stance as Angelina... of course we also are within 5min of a hospital which is a consideration... transporting the baby ourselves would likely be faster than calling an ambulance which we would do if the need arose but if the baby was in a state where medical care would only prolong the inevitable we would want that baby's passing to be as calm and comfortable as possible.
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#11 of 22 Old 11-06-2005, 08:26 PM
 
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I would stay hydrated, and eat plenty of protein and Bcomplex(helps the nervous system and dealing with stress) and not try to birth UC until 36 weeks...I do know a couple of ladies who had midwife births with 35 weekers, but that was them. I feel better anytime after 36 weeks, unless the dates are off(had a couple clients like that, babies were fine, so we figured she was really a month off...) I bet you will be able to stay the distance....
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#12 of 22 Old 11-06-2005, 10:04 PM
 
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i am one of those rare womyn who would stay home, no matter when or what.
i don't believe the hospital has anything to offer me (stress the *ME* aspect of this sentiment) while birthing. not anything i want, anyway.
i have had two successful unhindered births, once i called a midwife to help glue a tear after the fact. she was so kind, i had never involved her in my plans until the baby was about half an hour old!
i do not subscribe to an 'anything but dying' mentality. i'm not saying i would never take a newborn to a hospital if that's what felt right at the time.
but i would not PLAN to birth that way, ever. something would have to go dramatically wrong in progress for a transfer.
if a child of mine were meant to not make it (this gets very sketchy, of course, the further the PG has progressed...), then i want to embrace that life at home, in private. no strangers. period.
oh, i will clarify that i was hugely huge at the end of each pregnancy. i have never been faced with the reality of feeling like a child was coming to soon. so take my thoughts for what they are, but have a joyful birth and take care of YOU in order for it to be as great as it can!
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#13 of 22 Old 11-07-2005, 02:08 AM
 
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Iwould UC at any gestation. 20 wks. 30 wks. 40 wks. Infact, if this baby isborn early, it'll be a UC eventhough we plan a midwife-attended homebirth (though we don't really plan to have her do much in the way of attending besides sit in a room of the house). I would embrace my baby born at whatever gestation. Hold it, nurse it, love it,anddo whateverneeded to be done. If there was some great need to go to the hsopital, I'd get there. If my baby were born so early and it was its time to go, then I'd want it to go peacefully.
For the sake of it though, 34-36 weekers generally do just fine, they're usually just small, so there's not much to worry about withthem anyway. Do youknjojw what they do with those babies in the hospital? Put 'em in warmers and feed 'em. You can do that at home. Put them in the warmer (next to your heart!) and feed them (boobs rule!).

Namaste, Tara
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#14 of 22 Old 11-08-2005, 03:03 PM
 
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I am planning a UC. I am just over 36 weeks and have really just reached the point where I would really feel comfortable staying home if I couldn't stop labor. To be completely honest, I don't know what I would have done if I had gone into labor last week or the week before. I just kind of avoided thinking about it! My confidence that I will have a normal, easy birth has been so high this whole pregnancy. I've never seriously thought I would go into labor too early.

I'd say, listen to your instincts. Chances are so low that you will go very early, but if you do, just do what you feel is right, whether it be staying at home, going to the hospital, calling a midwife, or whatever. Good luck!
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#15 of 22 Old 11-13-2005, 07:24 PM
 
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//
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#16 of 22 Old 11-22-2005, 09:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaTaraX
For the sake of it though, 34-36 weekers generally do just fine, they're usually just small, so there's not much to worry about withthem anyway. Do youknjojw what they do with those babies in the hospital? Put 'em in warmers and feed 'em. You can do that at home. Put them in the warmer (next to your heart!) and feed them (boobs rule!). )
Tara,
As the mother of two preemies, I respectfully disagree. With my older daughter, born at 36 weeks, she was breathing fine and was able to nurse right away (although she was sleepy and I needed some help to get started). My younger daughter was born at 33 weeks, weighed 4 pounds, and had apneas and required tube feeding. She spent 23 days in the NICU. I had steriod shots to mature her lungs and she required oxygen for less than 12 hours. My best friend had a preemie 2 weeks before I did. He was a 34 weeker, 6 pounds at birth. He was on a ventilator for several days and subsequently on oxygen for nearly a month. His mother did not have steroid shots to mature his lungs.

Of course, the decision of when it is too early to UC is entirely up to you, but I think it is very important to realize that lung maturity and ability to nurse are true issues for many babies born before 36 weeks. Kangaroo care is awesome, and can help those babies get better faster, but it doesn't replace the need for medical intervention for some babies to survive. I think that it is good that you all are thinking about this, and discussing it. I hope you don't mind me butting in, especially as a non-UC'er myself. I just wanted to give the perspective of a preemie mom.
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#17 of 22 Old 11-22-2005, 10:39 PM
 
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I wouldn't UC before 36 weeks. Babies earlier often have breathing problems and it's a risk I wouldn't be willing to take.
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#18 of 22 Old 12-04-2005, 05:39 AM
 
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I did not UC but can tell you that any preemie can have issues. My dd was born at 37.3 weeks but was only about 34 weeks developmentally.

If the baby is born and there are problems, time is truly of the essence in preventing long-term damage from lack of oxygen. While 5-10 minutes may not seem like much toy ou, they are precious when it comes to brain cells.

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#19 of 22 Old 12-04-2005, 04:18 PM
 
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Doesn't the baby continue to receive oxygen from the placenta for about 10 minutes after birth? If there is a hospital within 10 minutes, the baby should never be deprived of oxygen during a transfer, right?
I'd rather risk the possibility of needing to transfer after the birth than the dangers of a hospital birth, personally.
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#20 of 22 Old 12-04-2005, 07:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hottmama
Doesn't the baby continue to receive oxygen from the placenta for about 10 minutes after birth? If there is a hospital within 10 minutes, the baby should never be deprived of oxygen during a transfer, right?
I'd rather risk the possibility of needing to transfer after the birth than the dangers of a hospital birth, personally.
I agree with this. I dont personally feel comfortable with the thought of UC yet. but I'm sure I will when the time comes. I didn't want to go to the hospital yet with my son my mom guilted me and scared me into going ("omg what if the baby is born HERE") of course we had no idea that my labor would drag on for 10 more hours until my baby made his appearance. that said my chosen hospital isnt within 10 minutes so i would try to stop the labor and if that did not work i would go to the hospital.

Jami (25) Roland (27) & Caleb (5), Jacob (3.5) , Kaitlyn (2)
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#21 of 22 Old 12-04-2005, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I've safely made the move from California to Texas, gotten nearly completely unpacked and baby still isn't here . . . and I'm now 37 weeks and 1 day pregnant . . . guess I'm really in the safety zone now, LOL!! No major signs that baby is coming too soon though, which doesn't surprise me given my other babies' reluctancy to come "early". Thanks for all of the wonderful responses anyway!!

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#22 of 22 Old 12-12-2005, 10:57 AM
 
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Hey, everyone does what they feel is best. Most moms do what is best for their baby. Some moms do what they want to do. I would never risk my baby's life for my own personal comfort. Home births are fine with a qualified midwife but one needs to be open to getting urgent care when needed.
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