DH's sister, Beth had her baby 2 weeks ago. Specific details are fuzzy, but basically, her baby wasn't moving and she had an emergency C-section. The baby was born on 8/13. She had fluid in her lungs and her abdomen was distended. She was transferred from from the hospital of birth to a second hospital. They then sent her to Dupont in DE for emergency surgery to removed a twisted/perferated section of intestine. They did not reattach the intestine sections yet - currently has them outside her body with an illiostomy. She is no longer on the vent or IV. She is not gaining weight because of not having enough intestine to absorb it. I was in PA this past week to offer support and it broke my heart. The nurses are telling Beth that she should hold the baby only limited amounts because she is working so hard to gain weight. "It is stressful to be held and she needs to be in the isolette to be warmer." FYI, they are no longer using the heat lamp. Beth is depressed and it helps when she can hold her, but she is desperate for baby to gain weight and listens to the nurses. My mom and other nurse friends I have say this sounds silly. It is certainly counterintuitive to me. Do you have any research about holding preemies and how it might improve weight or body heat or decrease stress? I told the nurses that this was different from anything I had ever heard and said I would love to read the research that they have. They did not know what to say. BTW, Beth is pumping and baby is getting breast milk, but they have just added powder to it to increase calories.
What are your thoughts on this? Can you hold a preemie too much? How much is too much? She is barely holding her at all - just for feedings.
Also, what books do you recommend that specifically address this? I am thinking Dr. Sears. Anything else? A lot of what I read says to hold the baby, but it does not say for how long or what contraindications to look for.
Also, When Beth was holding her, she had her hand on her head. When she lifted her hand, the baby put it back! Doesn't that say a lot?
BTW, baby is 18 1/2 inches long. Birth weight was 5 lb, 8 oz, but included extra fluid.
Thanks for any thoughts.