Preemies

birth weight

I am on partial bed rest due to pre-term labor and I am just starting to realize what it all could mean.  I am 32 weeks today.  My husband comes from a family of large babies and I have type 1 diabetes so our baby has been measuring 97th percentile at bi-weekly ultrasounds for many weeks now.

Tuesday she was said to be 5lb13oz.  She has been consistently breathing for over 3 weeks on her ultrasounds (they said she was an overachiever and started early).

Does anyone know if these factors (large weight and breathing early on her own) would help her if she came in the coming weeks? Or is survival/complications solely related to gestational age?

I am trying to remain calm but educate myself a bit. I know we are past the really critical early stage since we are at 32 weeks. My husband was born at 34 weeks already weighing just under 7pounds (would have been close to 10lbs full-term) and breathing on his own and had no problems what so ever and is an engineer. I hold out hope that baby girl takes after her father and if she comes early it is because she was just good and ready to get on with life (as was her daddy).  But as everything slowly sinks in I am starting to worry more!!

Just wondering if weight and breathing gives her a bit of an advantage if she does come early.

 

Re: birth weight

  • Preemies who are heavier have an easier time maintaining their body temp because they have more fat. I think it might be easier for them to eat because they don't get so tired, but my memory might be faulty.

    As for breathing, there's really no way to know if she'll have an easy/hard time with it, but the longer she stays in, the better chance she'll have.

     Good luck!

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  • image KatFCo:

    Preemies who are heavier have an easier time maintaining their body temp because they have more fat. I think it might be easier for them to eat because they don't get so tired, but my memory might be faulty.

    As for breathing, there's really no way to know if she'll have an easy/hard time with it, but the longer she stays in, the better chance she'll have.

     Good luck!

    I was just going to say about the same thing.  However occasionally larger preemies can have feeding difficulties too because they have to take in more volume for their size and just don't have the energy or alertness yet.  With your diabetes she will likely need close blood glucose monitoring too.  Like you said 32 weeks is a less critical time for most preemies.  At this point her lungs are starting to produce their own surfactant so there is less of a chance she will have many breathing issues once she is born. Receiving steriod shots if you are at risk for delivering also helps with lung maturity if she was to be born early.

  • The others already covered the main points.  I hope that you can keep your LO cooking as long as possible!
  • There isn't a way to predict 100% how your baby will respond to life outside the womb, preemie or full-term.  But it sounds like your LO is working hard to prepare for a possible early birth.  I was on bed rest too, though DS was born at 31 weeks, so I say this with experience: try not to stress about things you cannot control.  Come back any time for support. GL!
    Preemie Resources: http://preemiemomblog.blogspot.com/

    DD1: BFP July 2010...HG in first tri, MC delivered vaginally at 18 weeks October 2010

    DS: BFP December 2011...SCH at 5 weeks, SBR at 7 weeks, Placental Abruption at 13 weeks, Hospitalized at 25 weeks, pPROM at 28 weeks, PTL via CS at 31 weeks 

    DD2: BFP January 2013...P17 shots, delivered via VBAC at 39 weeks
  • I know it's easier said than done, but try to just relax and picture your beautiful baby and don't worry too much.  32 weeks, while still premature and still having some concerns, is a pretty safe point at most hospitals these days.  My daughter was born at 30 weeks and 2.5 lb, and didn't have any major issues.  They told me that altho she seemed early to me, to them she was one of the older ones they deal with - they're used to 24-wk babies and even earlier making it home.  Babies usually leave the NICU once they get to 4 or 5 lb so if she's over 5 lb that is definitely a plus.  The estimates aren't always right, but it sounds like you are in good shape and I'm sure your baby will be fine.  Just be proud of yourself for keeping her safe this long & keep thinking that a few months from now it will all be over and you'll be home cuddling your sweet baby!
    Preemie mom! Born 10 weeks early but Mommy and baby are both doing great!! BabyFruit Ticker
  • Thanks everyone.  I went in to L&D last night for further exams and the machines showed my contractions are 3min apart (even while resting) but the test came back negative so there is very little chance she will come in the next 2 weeks so that's reassuring.  I was also not dilated and all that so things look fairly positive.  Aside from the constant contractions!

    I'll be able to keep her cooking awhile longer yet!!

     

  • Everyone else pretty much said what I was going to say, but I just wanted to say GL! DS was born at about 34.5w. He weighed a little over 6lb, which was big for his "age." Like PPs mentioned, he didn't have a problem keeping his body temp as much, but did still need to learn how to suck, swallow and breath all at the same time. However, he was only in the NICU for 5 days, which was pretty amazing.

    GL!

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  • Every baby is different and there is no way to know how they will be until they are out of the womb.  My second was born at 35+5, weighed 6 lb 2 oz and was healthy.  He had minor temp and feeding issues but they resolved fairly quickly and required no extra hospital time.  My third was born at 35+4 and weighed 7 lb 2.5 oz (a full pound more than the previous child) and spent 10 days in NICU due to underdeveloped lungs, not able to control his temp and still needed to learn how to suck, swallow, breath. 
    Samuel  2.26.06 41w
    Eli  6.18.09 35.5w
    Silas  1.25.13 35.4w

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  • FWIW I was having contrax at 34 weeks, was 50% effaced, and failed the FFN test and LO still managed to stay put for 5 more weeks until 39 weeks exactly, with only limited activity (not full bed rest) so there is hope! I hope your LO keeps cooking and comes home with you when you leave the hospital!
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