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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My nephew was born this afternoon, an unmedicated vaginal birth. My SIL woke up at 1 am feeling pain in her legs and hips. By late morning it was clear she was having contractions and they got to the hospital around 1 pm. They weren't able to stop her labor, so her baby was born at 4:04 pm.<br><br>
SIL was only about 33 weeks along, so he's pretty little. When I left the hospital a couple hours ago, we were told he was 4 pounds 2 ounces, no other stats yet. He started breathing and crying pretty quickly, but he was really laboring to breathe, so they did a chest x-ray and found that his lungs aren't fully ready yet. They never had time to give SIL a steroid shot. He's had a surfactant treatment, is intubated, has a tube through his umbilical cord to measure blood gasses, and is heading up to a level 3 NICU where they expect him to be for at least 4 weeks.<br><br>
By the time I left at 7:30, SIL hadn't gotten to meet her baby yet, but they were planning to bring him by before transferring him to Farmington, so hopefully that happened.<br><br>
I'm heading back up to the hospital tomorrow morning to bring her some things and to try to help her with pumping before she's discharged, so she can get some colostrum to her little guy. The LC at the hospital is off shift tonight and all of tomorrow. We're told the nurses can help her pump, but I don't know if that's going to happen.<br><br>
My SIL is 14. She's got great parenting instincts, but this would be overwhelming to anyone. I welcome any suggestions on how I can help her and advocate for her.
 

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Oh Sarah, I remember you saying she was young and wow that happend quick!! Congrats on the baby and wow what a crusader this young mama is! I know you will be an excellent big sister/mama to this new mama and show her what needs to be done. She needs to pump every 4 hours to get things going. Hopefully she can put the baby to breast this week sometime.
 

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That's almost the exact same gestation and weight (4 pounds 1 ounce) as my daughter. She was in the NICU for 23 days, but I had steroid shots and breathing wasn't as big of an issue. The main things your nephew will probably need other than assistance breathing at first are to be kept warm and to gain weight.<br><br>
He may need to be tube fed at first but then they might move him to nipple feeds. It may be that your SIL needs to decide at that time whether to breastfeed in the NICU or give pumped milk. Either one has advantages and disadvantages. If she wants to exclusively bf and never use a bottle, she will need to be available for most feedings at the hospital (she can pump when she isn't there, or while he is still learning). She can ask that he be tube fed only if she isn't able to be there for a feeding. The disadvantage of this is that it may take longer for him to learn to breastfeed than bottlefeed, which will mean longer in the NICU, and also it is a huge commitment to spend that much time in the NICU, especially if it is a long drive.<br><br>
If he is bottlefed in the NICU, the big advantage is that he meay learn quicker, thus come home quicker. The disadvantage is that the transition to breast may be very difficult and take a long time, and is a lot of work with pumping, bottlefeeding, and breastfeeding.<br><br>
Right now, she won't have to decide, but when she does, I'd be pretty open with her about it and let her know that either road will be tough, but if she can do it, breastmilk is really impirtant for preemies, and reduces their risk of NEC.<br><br>
Also, just give her as much support and help as you can manage, meals, parking money, etc. I'd write more, but I have to leave for the airport right now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> to your SIL and you. Read the sticky about family and friends and what we wish they knew. I hope your new nephew thrives and grows strong quickly!!
 

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My daughter was born at 33w3d and 4 pounds 1.7 ounces. She was probably more prepared for her birth than I was. She had no trouble breathing and spent 8 days in the NICU. At birth it was estimated she would spend 2-4 weeks, likely closer to 4 weeks in the NICU.<br><br>
Definately get her pumping at least every 4 hours. When the NICU starts feeds try to get her on that schedule so she is ready for when she can try. Our NICU did feeds every 3 hours, so I pumped every 3 hours.<br><br>
The pumping will be discouraging at first, try to get a dental syringe it makes it easier to collect the colostrum from the pump. I never got enough to get anything into the bottle until my milk came in, so that syringe made me feel a little better. I also knew she was getting what I could give.<br><br>
Give her <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> she must be very overwhelmed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you, everyone.<br><br>
SIL got to meet her baby a little after 10 last night, about 6 hours after he was born. The transport team brought him to her room and opened the little circle on the side of the isolette so she could touch him and talk to him for about 10 minutes before transporting him. She started pumping at midnight and hopes to be discharged today so she can go spend some time with her baby.<br><br>
I'm passing along your recommendations and advice and thank you all so very much.
 

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First off congrats to your neice.<br><br>
I have had 2 preemies one 29 weeks and the other 32 weeks.<br><br>
My first was my 32 weeker. SHe was 3lb 1oz and spent a total of 3 weeks in the NICU. She spent a total of 5 days on the ventilator, had a few other complications but still went home after 22days. She left the hospital when she was 3lb 13oz.<br><br>
Pumping while she was in the NICU was of course tough. I did pump every 3 hours during the day with 1 pumping in the middle of the night. I spent my nighttime pumping calling the NICU to check on her which made that time less cumbersome. I also allowed the NICU to bottlefeed while she was there and then bf once she was home.<br><br>
A few of the things I wish people would have done for me was....provide meals of some sort, offer to sit with my daughter so I could leave the hospital and take a nap ( I never left her side but maybe would have if someone else would have offered), not sure if the babys room is done but helping with that, and just being there to listen.<br><br>
There are a ton of great websites dedicated to Preemie moms and Yahoo groups have a few great ones.
 

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In addition to the other great suggestions, I would add that if you can help her with arrangements to stay in or near the hospital, that will go a long way toward nurturing BF. I was discharged after 2 days and was on my own when DD was in the NICU. Maybe she lives nearby, but since she was transferred I wasn't sure.<br><br>
Another thing she probably needs is some emotional support. Birth is a big deal, and when it comes suddenly and too early, it can be very traumatic. It was hard for me to be in the same room as another mom with her happy, healthy baby by her side while I was pumping around the clock with my little babe in the NICU and everyone acting like nothing was wrong. It took me 10 months to get over my PPD, and I'm still dealing with the psychological effects of my DD's birth 18 months later.
 
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