Delivering at 36 weeks - any helpful tips? — The Bump

Delivering at 36 weeks - any helpful tips?

Well, we were just informed this past week that our LO will be delivered at 36 weeks because of uterine rupture risks. I delivered DS at 39 weeks via c-section, and the incision used puts me at a 10% risk of rupture. Couple that with evidence of preterm labor since 32 weeks, and my OB doesn't want to take any chances.

I know we are delivering very close to term, which is a small comfort, but I was wondering if any other mommies have tips for what we could expect and what supplies are good to have on hand. We bought 2 preemie outfits for the hospital, just in case, as well as some preemie diapers, but wanted to make sure we aren't overlooking anything. DS had a 3 day NICU stay due to aspiration of amniotic fluid and some other breathing difficulties, and at full-term he was 7lbs 13oz, but our OB is pretty confident that LO should be a nice size for her gestational age (around 5 lbs+).

TIA for all your help and advice Smile

~Renee Mommy to Caden (4)and Ariana (10 months) Image and video hosting by TinyPic Mommy and her babies, Disney World, April 24, 2011

Re: Delivering at 36 weeks - any helpful tips?

  • First, early congrats, mama! I just had my DS at 35 weeks and 6 days.  It sounds like the common issues at this gestation are breathing issues, jaundice, and learning to eat.  It varies so much from baby to baby; some ladies on the board had 36 week LO's who went right home, and others had LO's that needed some special attention.  Our DS was in the Special Care Nursery for 5 days, with the majority of the time dealing with the jaundice and making sure that he could eat.  I can't think of anything special you might need that you wouldn't need for a term baby, but it sounds like your LO will be petite, so the preemie outfits are a good idea.  Other than that, breathe deeply, and try to enjoy every moment.  Good luck!
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  • I wasn't expecting a pre-term baby, I had pPROM.  The main thing was learning to eat, she never has really gotten the hang of breastfeeding and bottles were and still are her preferred eating method.  Temperature seemed to be the next biggest issue, DD didn't have a lot of problems but the nurses contributed this to the fact that I did a lot of skin to skin contact, if she was in the room with us I pretty much had her skin to skin with me. 

    My biggest piece of advice is if you are planning to breastfeed don't let them convince you that simply because the baby is preemie that you need to give them a bottle right away for weight growth.  I truly believe that because I was so certain that she needed supplements immediately we got off on the wrong foot with breastfeeding.  Just like with any other baby your colostrum is the best thing and will sustain the baby until your milk comes in and baby gets the hang of breastfeeding.

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  • Congrats on making it so far! One more week and you would have had a termie :(. I wouldn't get crazy about buying preemie outfits and diapers, especially if you are expecting a baby that is over 5lbs because you LO is going to grow fast. It's better you just let them grow into newborn size clothes IMO, than waste money on preemie clothes. When DS was born we had one preemie outfit and it was actually BIGGER than the carters newborn outfits we had. Also If you are planning on breastfeeding and you think you are having trouble because preemies are sleepier than full term babies, make sure you see a lactation consultant and start pumping in case you LO has a latch problem. Good luck.

  • Congrats on your baby! Remember having a baby is a good thing, even if it arrives early.

    Ditto PP, don't buy preemie outfits or diapers. If your LO is over 5 pounds, most of the preemie won't fit. I'd buy the smaller newborn stuff. Carter's Just One Year at Target and Gerber have small NB clothes. I'd also only buy newborn diapers.

    Other than that, 36 weeks is a good age for a preemie, esp. if there are no other major health issues. You may want to familiarize yourself with the NICU and your hospital's policies and procedures regarding preemies and find out what services will be available to you in your area.

    Also find out what your insurance will cover. I went out and rented a hospital grade pump then learned that my insurance company will one for me.

  • I just had my DD at 36 weeks and 3 days. She was fine. She was 6lbs 12 oz but was slow to gain weight at the beginning. She was also breathing fast so they took her to the NICU the day after she was born and she did 48 hours of antibiotics and bloodwork to rule out any infection and there was none so she came home after that. She just had a longer transition than most babies, and they think it was because I pushed her out so fast. I think things should be fine, but even if the baby is full term things can still happen. Good luck with everything and have a very uneventful delivery and hospital stay.
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  • Thanks SO much ladies! I went in for my first steroid injection today, and we go back tomorrow for injectino # 2, so I'm pretty hopeful that she won't have breathing issues like DS had. They attributed DS's breathing issues to his position and the length of time it took to deliver him, and so far from what we can tell LO is head-down.

    I can't tell you all how much I appreciate your advice! I wish we could have made it a bit longer, but in reality my OB said we SHOULD have delivered quite a bit sooner. At any rate, as long as the outcome is a healthy baby then I am pleased :-) Thanks again for sharing your stories and tips!!!

    ~Renee Mommy to Caden (4)and Ariana (10 months) Image and video hosting by TinyPic Mommy and her babies, Disney World, April 24, 2011
  • Renee- if you posted this on the birth board I must have missed it. Best wishes for your delivery & I am hoping LO won't need the NICU! I am surprised they gave you steroids at 36 weeks though. My hospital doesn't give them past 34 I believe, but I could be wrong. Please post a birth story on the birth board ;-)
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