talk to me about 33/34 weekers....cross posting in multiples - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 02-02-2009, 12:42 AM - Thread Starter
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any stories, info, opinions. i'm in the hospital at 33 weeks 5 days with my twin boys. we've done 48 hours of steroids now. as of friday they were estimated at 4lbs 7 oz and 4lbs 9 oz. i am dialating and the procardia slows my contractions, but not really enough.

the neonatologist gave us a bit of an idea of what to expect a few days ago, but he was pretty noncommital.

nicu time?
when did you take em home?

i can't really read/respond from here (i got special permission to hang with my family in the waiting room tonight - where a computer is) but my husband will be reading/responding when he can.

thank you so much!

Mama to Jet 6/05, Marvel 8/06 and Cash and Fox 2/09
Expecting Ada Marianne 11/14
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#2 of 8 Old 02-02-2009, 02:17 AM
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I think alot depends on your boys and what they decide to do! My son was 35 weeks and our ped said that 35 weekers can go either way... and Georgie went the wrong way on the lungs. Lol. Anyway, you have had the steroid shots, which, imo, is excellant! Yay!

Be prepared to pump and store. You may or may be able to hold them right away. Some preemies don't like to be touched loads but some do. They may have them do NG feeds through the nose before oral feeds. My son went home on a nipple shield and weaned himself off it close to his due date.

That's all I can think of right now. Oh, "The Premature Baby Book" is great, if only for the diagram of the baby with the lines/tubes/monitors labeled!
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#3 of 8 Old 02-02-2009, 04:16 AM
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I had my son Micah at 35 weeks and my son Zephan at 31 weeks...

From what I remember, most babies do pretty well with breathing by 34 weeks. I think some apnea of prematurity is common through about 36 weeks. They may need a little extra oxygen, especially in the first day or two as they adjust to life outside the womb.

I agree that you should be prepared to pump breastmilk. Try to do this within the first 3 hours of giving birth. It might take a little longer for your milk to come in if you are pumping and not able to breastfeed, but be patient.

Most likely you will be able to hold your babies within the first day. I held our 35 weeker after maybe 8 hours and the 31 weeker after about 24.

Do kangaroo care as soon as you can! This will help your milk come in and will be very comforting to your babies.

You may be able to go straight to nippling...this really depends on your kids. With babies born after 34 weeks, I would ask to try putting them to the breast as soon as they are stable. My 35 weeker breastfed well from the first day. My 31 weeker had an NG tube for about 3 weeks. We began "practice" breastfeeds at 32 weeks and began measuring how much milk he drank at 33 weeks. By 33 1/2 weeks, he was able to take a little more than an ounce by breast, so we began to breastfeed him more and give him less milk through the NG tube. By about 34 1/2 weeks, he was exclusively breastfed. We tried to go "tube to boob" and avoid bottles, although while he was in the hospital we did end up using 2 bottles a day. At home, we're exclusively breastfeeding.

We also used a nipple shiled from 33 to about 40 weeks - this can be very helpful in breastfeeding preemies.

Most preemies go home somewhere between 36-40 weeks gestational age, so hopefully you will not need to stay too long in the hospital.
Another word of advice...if you want to breastfeed twins, you need to try to pump as much as full-term twins would need in the first week. This means 40-48 ounces in 24 hours once you get to 3-5 days after giving birth. This will stimulate things enough that you should hopefully be able to keep up with what they need as they grow.
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#4 of 8 Old 02-02-2009, 02:41 PM
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DD was born at 34 weeks, I had steroids at 26 weeks and another round the day before she was born.

She was on and off the CPAP for the first 48 hours or so. She was able to take some colostrum form a syringe as soon as I was able to pump some.

I was encouraged to put her to the breast regularly but it was 8 days before she was able to latch on and suck. She had an NG tube for the first 12 days which we used to top her up. By 14 days she was feeding well and we were able to come home.

I found pumping really hard and it was touch and go whether I would get enough milk for her. At the same time it was very satisfying to be able to do something concrete for her.

The NICU was doing her tube feeds every 3 hours so I was able to get into a routine of when I went down to see her and time it so I could try and feed her first.
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#5 of 8 Old 02-04-2009, 12:32 AM
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Sara was a 34 weeker(5lbs 3oz) and stayed 11 days. I got a round of betamethasone shots before her birth in the hospital. Her problems were feeding issues. She was NG tube fed until day 8 of life(problems coordinating suck-swallow-breathe and staying awake for full feedings) and started nippling feeds thereafter. Breathing room air from the start but issues with apnea. Came home on an apnea monitor that she kept until 6 months old. She nursed every 20 minutes around hte clock because I was determined to breastfeed even if it killed me. She nursed like a normal newborn around 6 weeks adjusted and ended up exclusively bresatfeeding until 11 months and self-weaning at 22months.: She had some issues with RSV and lung scarring and some sensory issues but she's a healthy normal 4 year old now.

Grace was a 33weeker(4lbs 12oz) and also stayed 11 days. No time for the steroid shots before her birth. Her issue was keeping up her temperature. She nippled feeds from the start and had a nice strong suck. She was trying to latch by day 2 of life. She had a few A's and B's(apnea and bradycardia- forgetting to breathe and dropping heartrate) but was mostly fine. Breathing room air from the start. Once she stabilized a little more, she was able to keep up her body temperature and came home slightly under birth weight but gaining everyday and nursing well. We have had some issues iwth reflux but she's 13months and was exclusively breastfed until 6 months and is a chunky 24lbs so obviously that didn't affect the calories she's getting. Very strong, healthy, and quite the normal toddler.

All in all, my 33 weeker who was smaller than her 34week sister did better. Sara had trouble getting overstimulated with lots of touching and would scream for literally HOURS once she was just DONE with you messing with her. She still has some sensory issues with clothing and getting her hair brushed and food textures and messy hands and loud noises but they are more "quirks" than anything else now at age 4. Gracie came home nursing well, sleeping pretty well, and gained fantastic from the very start. She was up at almost 10lbs by her due date. So it's very very different from baby to baby. I firmly believe that Sara would have had some respiratory issues had I not gotten the steroids. And I stayed pregnant with her longer than with Grace. So it's really a crapshoot. Just remember that each day you stay pregnant is one less day of blood draws and ng tubes and big plastic boxes int he nicu.


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#6 of 8 Old 02-04-2009, 02:59 PM
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My dd was born 34wks on the nose. My water broke at 33w5d, and they did not give me steroids, but did not push my labor either. My dd was born by csection because of malpresentation, she was transverse and her hand was the presenting part, lol. When my mw checked for dialation, she was met with a baby hand.

Anyway, she didn't have any issues at all. Less than a day in nicu. She came home with us on the third day- she was born on tues night, I came home friday afternoon. She nursed great from the first day, and while she didn't keep her temp up well on her own, it didn't keep her in the nicu.

My friend is a nicu nurse at another hospital, and apparently in her hospital it is strict policy to keep all 34wk for at least a week, for observation.
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#7 of 8 Old 02-05-2009, 12:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you guys so so much! I'm 34 weeks now. Planning to keep with the procardia until 35 weeks or until it just stops working. I could totally spend another 6 days at the hospital if it means less time with babies in the nicu.

Mama to Jet 6/05, Marvel 8/06 and Cash and Fox 2/09
Expecting Ada Marianne 11/14
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#8 of 8 Old 02-09-2009, 10:54 PM
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Again it depends on your babes. I have 2 34 weekers and a 36weeker.

DD5 - 3lbs 1oz 34 weeks was in NICU for a month. Hpwever, she was very small due to IUGR. She was a poor feeder(was gavaged up until a week before we left) at first and we never established a BFing relationship. She also struggled with keeping her body temp regulated so was in the isolete for about half the time she was in NICU. I did have the steriods and her lungs were perfect. She had the cutest little kitten cry. She is a happy healthy "normal" little girl!

DD4-36 weeks 5lbs 11oz came home with me 3 days later! BF like a champ!

DS6mo- 34 weeks 4lbs 12oz. He was in NICU for 2 weeks again due to feeding and temperature issues. We were able to BF though I ended up exclusively-pumping because it is hard to get to the NICU 8 times a day when you have 2 at home.

I will say that my son nursed better than he took EBM from a bottle. I did my best to be up there as often as possible.
Good luck and happy healthy delivery to you!
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