C-Section scheduled for 34 weeks — The Bump
October 2015 Moms

C-Section scheduled for 34 weeks

Today I've been a wreck as I got news that my csection was scheduled for next Wednesday when I'll be 34 weeks. I've been in the hospital 3 weeks now with bleeding and possible rupture. I have a complete previa. They are also worried as I came in anemic and with all the blood loss I'm looking at a transfusion in my near future.

The doctors say that at 34 weeks the benefits of delivery (for my health) outweigh the risks to the baby but this makes me super nervous. My doctor and the neonatologist both assure me this is the right course of action but I can't help but want him to cook longer if I can help it. I know he'll be tiny and will be in the NICU for a while. Not to mention I won't be able to breastfeed right away either. They told me I would hand express/pump in the beginning to get my supply started but I'm not very optimistic about this.

Anyone have experience with 34 week babies? Any words of experience or comfort?

Re: C-Section scheduled for 34 weeks

  • With all the issues you've listed I can imagine you would be scared but despite what some would say I don't believe your doctor would suggest this unless they were very concerned. Sending positive thoughts.
  • The benefits definitely outweigh the risks because if you continue to rupture then baby will not get nutrients and grow! I've heard of babies being born 34-36 weeks and needing little time in the NICU, so I hope that is the case for you. And he might weigh less than a full term baby, but I bet you'll be surprised at how long he is! And if you are determined to breastfeed, I'm sure you will be successful with the right supports in place. Best of luck to you for a safe delivery and a healthy baby!!!
  • My first baby was born at 33 wks. She was 4lb 5oz. Was able to breastfeed with formula top ups right away. She only spent 11 days in the NICU.
    Good luck mama!
  • Prayers for you and baby!
  • I completely understand your concern but I think you have great odds of a fantastic breastfeeding relationship with your son.  I have many friends who have had NICU babies (most earlier than yours!) and they were able to pump and then feed their babies a mixture of breastmilk and formula through the umbilical cord until the baby was able to breastfeed on their own.  Thinking of you, mama!
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  • I know it's not ideal, but thank goodness you are being monitored and are having a plan formulated in advance rather than in an emergency situation! It sounds like your doctors are being very proactive and will do everything they can to get your baby here safely while keeping you safe as well. Wishing you well!!

  • My son was born at 34 weeks 5 days.he weighed 5 pounds 4 ounces and was in the NICU for 11 days. He didn't eat for his first few days but I was able to pump to get my supply up. First he took bottles of my milk and when his breathing was stable enough I started nursing him with no issues. He breasfed for a year and I never needed to supplement with formula. Today he is a wild and crazy 2 1/2 year old!
  • lurker here. my friend just had her baby at 33 weeks, she weighed 4lb10oz and is doing great!! it's been about two weeks and she is almost ready to be discharged from the NICU. Baby is bottle and breastfeeding well, though she still has a feeding tube to help her pack on the weight. sounds like there are a lot of success stories out there, as hard as it is, sometimes you need to trust the docs!
  • Good luck, we are all hoping for the best possible outcome for you and your little one.  Hoping everything goes smoothly.
  • I'm sure your mama instinct wants you to try and make sure the baby is the healthiest he can be. But have faith in your medical providers, they have two patients to take care of and likely analyzed this in all different ways. I will keep you in my thoughts as the week progresses and hope you and baby have a smooth delivery and recovery. You got this mama!
  • At 34 weeks, the baby has developed enough to be able to be delivered with minimal or no long term complications. You may not be able to directly BF right away, but they can give the colostrum/milk you pump to the baby until you're able to breastfeed.

    I know it's a scary position to be in, but I believe your doctor wants to do what's best for you and baby, and allowing you to continue to carry the baby while losing blood and possibly needing a transfusion is riskier than letting him spend some time in the NICU.

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  • How scary, but you don't want to risk things getting worse for you. 34 weeks is early, but totally in the zone for the baby being fine. What level nicu does your hospital have? And you should discuss things like breastfeeding initiation, skin to skin as much as possible with the baby now, so you know what can happen. Please keep us updated.
  • komorebikomorebi
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers Name Dropper
    edited September 2015
    If the baby is stable and you are, then you should be able to breastfeed. Don't let them hold it off unless it is medically required. But also, many many moms get off to a rough start and are just milk machines. The hospital will give you a good pump and then you can hand express the last bits out and while it might seem overwhelming is doable.
  • I can't offer up any personal experience, but I will be praying for you. Please keep us updated.

  • SquishyMineSquishyMine
    Third Anniversary 10 Comments 5 Love Its Photogenic
    edited September 2015
    My twins were born emergency c-section at 24 weeks 6 days.  First, let me say you are not crazy being concerned - it is the single scariest thing I have gone through in my life.  I am currently pregnant with  a singleton and they are going to her take her at 37 weeks, and have assured me it will all be fine, but I'm still nervous.  34 weeks is the first milestone they shoot for, so be assured the doctors are well prepared to take good care of your little one.  NICU nurses and neonatologists are angels on earth.

    As for the breastfeeding question - I was able to start colostrum and pumping right away.  Even at 24 weeks.  Your body has been preparing for this, and actually a mom makes special "preemie milk" formulated just for early babies.  Every breastfeeding experience is different, but just know that just because you deliver early, and by c-section, doesn't mean you won't be able to breastfeed.  I actually made an abundance of milk and was able to pump then pump/breastfeed in the NICU (we were there for 4 months), and breastfeed for 9 months after that.  Be diligent about pumping, and honestly, what helped me mentally more than physically was having my husband involved.  He proudly carried that first breastmilk to the NICU like it was gold, because I couldn't get out of bed.  He cleaned the pump parts and stored the milk...it was a surprising bonding experience that came out of no where for us.

    Anyway, hope that helps/is comforting.
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  • My best friend had an emergency c section at 30 weeks. She had dangerously low platelets and did recieve a transfusion, however her recovery went great and baby boy is a chunky exclusively breastfed baby. I believe she did geta hospital grade pump thru her insurance do you may want to check into that.Hugs momma!
  • I had a close friend have a baby at 34 weeks unexpectedly with zero complications.  Baby was totally fine.  I am not even sure if the baby was in the NICU...if so, not more than a couple of days.  Good luck!
  • Thanks everyone for your support and sharing your experiences. I'm feeling a little better today after talking to the OB again and reading these posts. My hospital has an outstanding level 3 NICU so I'm not worried about their ability to care for my little boy, it's just still hard. I also found out that they have accommodations for parents to stay overnight so that is comforting. I do want to be home though for my daughter so maybe dad and I can switch off or something.
  • I went into preterm labor and delivered my son at 30 weeks, 2 days. He was 3lbs, 5 oz; though he spent 49 days in the NICU, he just needed to gain weight and learn to eat. At 34 weeks, these little ones are far more developed and generally spend 1 week or so in the NICU. I would ask your doctor about getting steroid shots in advance (now) to help with your little one's lung development. Sending prayers your way!
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  • My last son was a scheduled RCS at 34 weeks. I received 2 steroid injections prior to delivery to help with lung development and he was born without really any complications. He weighed 7lbs 8oz. He stayed less than 48 hours in the NICU. He was bottle and breast fed in the hospital and did need glucose water (I am type 1 diabetic so this has been a theme with all my kiddos). When we got home he was mostly exclusively breastfed and is now a very healthy, happy, and smart 8year old boy. Good luck.
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