Preemies

34-weekers- typical length of NICU stay

Hi ladies!

I have some complications with my pregnancy, and will need to deliver no later than 34 weeks.  I saw my high risk doctor yesterday and everything points to me being able to hold out until 34 weeks, but I am being hospitalized in case this needs to be earlier.  Baby is now 3 lbs, 11 ounces at 31 weeks.

I know that this can vary dramatically, but DH and I are just trying to get an idea of what to expect.  I've asked various physicians on potential length of NICU stay at 34 weeks and get really different answers- from 1 to 6 weeks.  My MFM doctor yesterday was saying that after my c section (3-4 day stay), the baby could potentially go home with us. (!?!).

We won't know for sure until the birth, but what have your experiences been with 34 weekers?  Also, we've been stocking up on preemie clothes and diapers-  but just today my friend (who had a 26 week micro-preemie) was saying we should be buying newborn, instead.

Thanks in advance for any insights you can provide.

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Re: 34-weekers- typical length of NICU stay

  • I delivered at 34 and 4 and our son was 4 pounds 2 ounces.  He was in NICU for 12 days.  He was doing great and was ready for discharge after 5 days then had a few bradycardias, so he needed to stay longer.  He scored a 9 on his Apgar and other than the few As and Bs he was thriving.  

    We're still in preemie diapers - he'll be a month tomorrow and was 6.1 pounds at his 3 week appointment.  He's a long baby, so he's between preemie and newborn clothes right now.

    Good luck with everything!!   

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  • tlk432tlk432
    100 Comments
    member

    We also delivered at 34 and 4.  Our kiddo was 5lbs 6oz.  His NICU stay was 10 days.  He hovered around jaundice for nearly a week.  He had oxygen, an IV, and feeding tube in his nose.  The skill he needed to learn the most was eating.  He went back and forth with doing well at one feeding, then not at the next.  Then one day he just got it, and 2 days later he was discharged.  He was discharged at 5lbs 9oz, 19", and on oxygen.  He was in preemie clothes for maybe 2 days after he got home, and then the newborn clothes were fine.  Same with diapers, he was in newborn dipes when we got home.  At a month old, he was 8lbs, 3oz.  It's all going to vary so greatly, just my and bdifazio's experiences vary a lot, and our kiddos were born at the same gestation!

    Lots of good thoughts your way!

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  • MrsRKJMrsRKJ
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    My LO was born at 33 weeks, and stayed for 33 days (although he had other health conditions going on as well)  He's home on oxygen right now (although that's mostly for his other health condition, and not directly associated with being a preemie)

    Born at 5 lb 10 1/2 oz, he's 2 months tomorrow and is 7 lbs 15 oz now.  He's in newborn clothes and newborn diapers (pampers level N) fit him perfectly. 

     

    ETA:  Yeah, stop buying the preemie stuff.  Like I said, my LO was 5 lb 10 1/2 oz and there is no way he would've fit into preemie anything! 

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  • My daughter was born at 34 and 5.  She was in the nicu for 7 days and then the level 2 nursery for another 7 days.  She had lost a lot of blood due to my hemmorhaging, and she needed a blood transfusion.  They were unable to feed her at all the first couple of days as her stomach was full of swallowed blood.  After that, she received tube feedings for 9 days, need bilirubin lights for 4 days, was on cpap for 5 days (even though I had gotten the steroid shots a week earlier).

    Every baby is different though.  When my LO was born, the nurses kept saying she seemed younger based on her development.  (But, as we went through IVF, we knew her exact age).

    My LO only fit into the preemie clothes for a couple of days after she was home.  Then, she was in newborn which were too big for her, but we just rolled up the sleeves on things.  She's just recently been growing out of newborn after being home for 2 1/2 months.

    Good luck!

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  • First, best of luck.  I was in the hospital with DD knowing I would deliver early, we were hoping for 36 weeks.  I had prom at 33.5 weeks, I had been given 2 rounds of steriod shots and DD was measuring big (now DS is too).  She was born 6lbs 4oz, screaming.  She was a little "grey and floppy", had high APGAR scores, and her sugars were off.  She also had some trouble eating and was jaundice.  That being said, she was in the NICU for 48 hours, step down for another 24 hrs and came home, but had to do outpatient blood draws and nurse visits every day for 2 weeks (I think it was).  Best of luck to you.

     Edited to add -- she did drop down to 5.3, she lost too much weight was in premie clothes and diapers for a little bit, but once she "got the hang of eating" she plumped right up.  The weekly pictures were amazing, one week her skin was hanging off of her the next she looked like a chipmunk!

  • I'd honestly return some of the preemie diapers and clothing.  Your friend is right, and you should stock up on newborn sizes instead, at least in clothing.  While it's possible that your LO will be in preemie size diapers and clothes at birth, they outgrow the preemie sizes really quickly.

    As for the length of the NICU stay, the neonatologists should be able to give you a decent ballpark figure, so if you can get a consult with them that might be helpful.

  • Yah for sure skip the preemie stuff. Newborn was HUGE on my son but was too tall for preemie. But he grew in to the newborn stuff quite quickly.

    My son was born at 35 weeks weighing 5lbs 5oz and spent 2 weeks in the nicu. He needed the cpap, iv, and feeding tube. He switched to the high flow nasal cannula after 4 days, and switched to the low flow after 1 day. The rest of the time he worked on learning how to eat.

    It does vary a lot because everyone is different. I hope you are able to stay pregnant longer and that your baby needs little to no nicu help. Good luck <3

  • My DD just turned 8 months. She was born at 32 weeks and weighed 3 lbs 9 oz. She's now almost 16 lbs. She stayed in the NICU for 25 days. It was uneventful. She was basically a grower & feeder since she did not have major health problems. She only wore preemie clothes for a month after bringing her home. Grew out of it quickly! Yes invest in NB clothes & diapers. Good luck to you!
  • My DS's were born at exactly 34 weeks. Ian was 4lbs 10.5oz and was in NICU for 8 days. Jack was 5lbs 0.5oz and stayed for 23 days. He would have gone home earlier but he caught a respiratory infection that added a week to his stay. Both of them were preemie size clothes for at least a month (Ian a little longer since he was littler). Both are currently happy and healthy, only dealing with some speech delays right now. GL, and stay positive!

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  • My guys were born at 34w 3d at 5lb4oz and 5lb3oz- their NICU stay was 17 days.  Their only issue was learning to eat- they needed to develop the suck/swallow/breath reflex.  They had NO breathing issues.
    After 5 years of hopes, dreams, and Dr. visits; IVF brought us our family

  • I delivered at 34w 5d and DD2 was 5lbs 5oz, but she had a 14 days NICU stay. She had some issues with a's and b's and jaundice. Her desatting held us back for awhile, and by the end of the first week she gaining weight, but very slowly. Each baby is different, so it really all depends.My oldest was born at 33w 4d, 4lbs 10.5 oz and had a 13 day NICU stay because of feeding/jaundice issues.

    Praying that you can stick it out a few more weeks. Definitely keep us posted.

    As for preemie clothes, definitely don't need many. You can probably take some of them to the NICU for the last couple of days that they are there, but we hardly used them when they finally came home. 

     

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  • I had a 35 weeker and she stayed in the NICU for 10 days for her feeding issues. She weighed 5.2lbs.

    As far as clothes went, we got some preemie clothes but only a couple things. She could wear newborn.. we just rolled up the sleeves. During her NICU stay, they suggested getting her sleep gowns that way all of the cords and machine wires could easily come out of the bottom of her gown.

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  • BLPL101BLPL101
    5000 Comments 25 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
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    I had an almost 36 weeker and she was 5 lb 3 oz, so pretty small for being almost 36 weeks. She swam in newborn and I had to go out and buy preemie. I wouldn't return the preemie clothes.
  • Dd was born at 35 weeks but they estimate she stopped growing at 33 weeks she was 3 lbs 11 oz. her nicu stay was 8 days and at first she had some feeding issues but did not have any issues with breathing. She was in preemie clothes for about a month when she came home. We received a bunch of preemie and nb clothes as gifts so I didn't need to buy anything but we did go out and get a coming home outfit. I forget how long she was in preemie diapers but a family member sent us a ton of diapers from amazon so we never had to buy them.
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  • I delivered at 33w 2 days and my baby was 4lb 2oz. I developed mastitis so I stayed in the hospital 5 days after my c-section (insurance covered 4 days) and my LO stayed in the NICU for 14 days before being discharged. Originally docs said they would keep her until 36w but she was feeding well and managed to maintain her temperature in an open crib, so they sent her home. 

     

     

  • My son was born at 34 weeks 3 days and had a 3 week NICU stay.  He had a few apneic events but was mostly in the NICU as a feeder and grower.  He was 4 lb 13.6 ounces at birth.
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  • My daughter was born at 34w1d, weighed 6lbs 10oz and stayed in NICU for 40 days.  She was/still not a big eater.  My cousin's daughter was born at a different hospital, she was 35w2d weighed 3lbd 15oz and went home with her.
  • My twins were born at 33w4d, and they both spent 23 days in the NICU as feeders and growers. 
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    7/30/12 - B/G twins born at 33w4d due to PPROM
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