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C/S at 32 weeks...what to expect
Advice please


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14 replies to this topic

#1 PinkSurvivor

Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:06 AM

I am currently 15+5 weeks and the doctors want the baby delivered at 32 weeks.

The baby is perfectly healthy, no known issues at this point. I had an u/s a week ago and all was progressing perfectly. They want to have the baby born early so I can start cancer treatment asap.

I am unaware of the issues facing 32 weeks premature so I would love some advice and know what to expect. I have been told its fairly 'safe' and baby should be fine. They obviously will wait a week or two if lungs and things are not looking developed enough to proceed and it would compromise the baby's life.

Thanks for any advice.

#2 MoonPie

Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:13 AM

Sorry this is happening to you and your bub sad.gif

I'm not sure if you are able to/wanting to BF, but babies born before 34 weeks haven't quite mastered the sucking skills needed. Bub will probably do a stint in special care being kept warm and tube fed, but from what I've seen so far, they generally do pretty well.

#3 PinkSurvivor

Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:16 AM

Thanks for the quick reply. I have no ability to breastfeed I had a double mastectomy, so baby will be formula fed and also have some donor breast milk from a close friend original.gif So at least having BF'ing troubles won't be on the list.

Also if anyone can direct me where to get premmie suits suitable for nicu maybe second hand I would be really grateful.

#4 NotBitzerMaloney

Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:26 AM

You would get steroids prior, to help speed up development of baby's lungs.

It's likely that baby will need to be in NICU with support for breathing / heat regulation etc. Once baby is well enough, it would graduate to special care nursery where it's likely to continue to bed through a tube through nose till s/he has developed sucking reflex, then likely a combination of bottle / tube, then to bottle.

Usually, they give you about a week to recover from surgery prior to starting treatment, but given they are talking 32 vs 34 weeks, they probably feel you will need to start treatment ASAP and so you may not get that week of grace period.

You won't need to worry about premmie clothes for the special care nursery / NICU, as they don't tend to wear anything except a nappy to enable doctors to have easy access (and unlike other newborns, they are in a temp controlled environment)

That's great that you will have access to some donor breast milk. Yay for your friend.

I wish you luck.

There is a premmie buddy group on EB, with some great resources, including details of where to get clothes.

#5 Xander2

Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:30 AM

Hi Pink Survivor,
firstly I wanted to say I'm so sorry you're going through this :-(

I had an emergency c-section at 34 weeks with my DS (I had placenta previa and went into premmature labour).  He was in the special care nursery for the 5 days I was in hospital, plus an extra 2 weeks after I had to go home.  I had steroid injections prior to his birth to help his lungs develop.  He was tube fed the first week and a half, and then transitioned over the next week to bottles and bfeeding.  It took him a while to get the sucking relflex going and to get used to the bottle and me feeding him but he got there eventually  original.gif   He has no issues that we know of due to being premmie, he just turned 3 on the weekend and is a happy and healthy little ratbag  biggrin.gif

I'm not sure where you are but some brands have 'premmie' ranges.  I know Pumpkin Patch do, I've seen some on ebay as well so have a look on there and you can search by size  original.gif

Good luck with everything xxx

#6 B.feral3

Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:42 AM

I had my baby in December at 32+2.

Just replying to your last post, don't go out and buy premmie anything. My son was 1.9kg and was fine in 00000's. His weight was not big and not small for his gestation, just average. The reason I say don't buy premmie clothes is because the hospitals prefer you use theirs. They have racks and racks of them and you just help yourself to whatever you want your bub to wear, as do the nurses when you are not around. All dirty clothes go into a central laundry. That includes any clothes that you may have purchased yourself, they make no guarantees!! Basically they just prefer you use theirs to avoid disappointment.  original.gif original.gif  My son was born at the Mater Mothers in Brisbane but after 3 weeks got transferred up to our home hospital in Central QLD with the RFDS and it was the same system at both hospitals. (Communal clothing I mean.)

As far as 32 weeks goes, well bubs seem to do well and there is only a 1% fatality rate and I was told that is mainly from bubs that are born early due to their own health conditions. My son had a fairly smooth NICU journey. He was on CPAP for 3 days, oxygen for a few weeks due to chronic lung disease (common in prems but not common in 32 weekers, he was an exception.) He also had some photo therapy. They all seem to get a bit jaundice at about 5 days old. Oh, he was was also having apneas and forgetting to breath so just had a bit of caffine for about 2 weeks.

Other than that, he was just a feed and grow baby.

Good luck to you. I assume they have said 32 weeks because the bubs do so well.  original.gif My DS spent 4 weeks and 4 days in hospital then we were home. All is well and he is actually heavier than his brother was at the same age ACTUAL age, so forget all this 'corrected age' stuff!!!!!!!!!

#7 nayjay

Posted 19 March 2012 - 11:33 AM

Hi PinkSurvivor.  Congratulations on your pregnancy. Sorry to read that you are going through this.  The positive is that at 32 weeks babies usually do very well.  Steroid injections are usually given (where there is time) to help with babies' lung development.

DS3 was born at 32 weeks via emergency c/s.  He was in hospital for 5 week. He needed some time in the isolette and needed to learn to feed and regulate body temperature. He came home at 5 weeks. He is now 5.5yrs old.

DD3 was born at 32+1 weeks  via VBAC.  She did need CPAP initially.  She was in an isolette for a while as the hospital had a policy that baby needed to weigh 1.8kg and it took her a while to reach that weight. She needed caffeine for apneas for 3-4 weeks as she would "forget" to breath. She also had jaundice and needed phototherapy twice. She was home after 4.5weeks. She is now 3yrs old.

DS4 was born 33+weeks (hospital thinks he may have been 34+weeks as he did so well) via emergency c/s.  He needed CPAP initially and also needed phototherapy for jaundice twice but he was home within 19 days.  He is now 8 weeks old and doing beautifully.  He is still quite small and wearing 00000 and prem clothing but he is reaching his milestones really well. He can hold his head well and is even smiling and hitting at toys on his play gym.

I think the biggest things to prepare for are seeing your baby in an isolette with lots of wires and monitoring, a drip (usually for 48hours), a NG feeding tube and sometimes some form of breathing assistance (sometimes only facial oxygen).  These things can look daunting at first but it is amazing how quickly those things fade away and all you see is your precious baby wub.gif .

FWIW...here are some pics
WARNING - Can be confronting.
First time I saw Travis after C/S - 32wker
First time I saw Charlize - 32wker
First time I saw Elias after c/s - 33wker
Travis, Charlize and Elias now
Elias now

I will send you a PM regarding prem clothes.

Edited by nayjay, 19 March 2012 - 11:37 AM.


#8 Razman

Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:16 PM

Sorry your going to join our little club but good news that  your bub is healthy and likely to be a good size.

DS was  born at 28+4 and 1,320g, spent 63 days in hospital, I had steroids on board and he needed  minimal lung assitance. No blue lights or ventilation for us and only one day  of CPAP. Most of the time was spent just growing and learning to do things  normal newborn things. He did do a fair bit of forgetting to breath (apneas)  and dropping heartrate (brady's) but this is pretty common until 35-37 weeks.


There's lots of info and stats at LilAussie Prems  (LAP). For more info follow the link on LAP to Life's Little Treasures or the  National Premmie Foundation.


Generally the outcomes for 32  weekers are pretty good. When you get closer to 32 weeks  contact SewingMummy on facebook - she makes and donates lovely prem gowns and while  you don't actually need one (most hospitals do provide clothing) its nice have your  own to keep and compare the sizes as they grow up.

All the  best and any time you have questions or need support just ask.




#9 PinkSurvivor

Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:55 AM

Thanks everyone.

I saw the OB today and she wants to make sure the oncologists won't wait until 34 weeks as then its a lot safer apparently. She also wants me to have a peads consult. She will do a growth scan at 28 and 32 weeks to see how bub is growing and I'll get steroids. She also said the baby is required to stay in special care until what would have been 37 weeks but it may be a little longer.

Now she has also kind of changed her mind and wants to try inducing me first before doing c/s. I am a bit worried about it failing so early on. I would rather have a planned c/s than a emergency one after a failed induction. I will have enough going on health wise without adding extra drama. Has anyone had successful inductions that early?

nayjay: Thanks so much for sharing the photo's. Your babies are gorgeous.

notbitzermaloney: Where is the buddy group?

Thanks again for all the tips and information and support.

#10 Monket

Posted 21 March 2012 - 10:25 AM

I am so sorry you are going through this, it isn't fair.

DD was born at 33 weeks via induction.  It was a quick 4 hour labour and an easy birth...she was little so no tearing or stitches!  She spent 10 uneventful days in SCN and then came home.  She only had 1 tube feed and the rest were bottle feeds.  A bit of jaundice but that is pretty normal.

I hope things go as smoothly for you and best of luck with everything.

#11 melliecat

Posted 04 April 2012 - 08:21 AM

Eeek, Jen!!!

I know you are away at the moment but give me a call as soon as you get home. As you know Lucy is an ex 29 weeker and I have a few friends that have done the NICU journey here too at the RDH.

Much love to you! xx

#12 Mrs_BG

Posted 09 April 2012 - 05:31 PM

I had my baby at 34 weeks via C-section in November last year. Some tips from my experience;

* Have a list of friends & family who are available to drive you to and from the hospital while your baby is NICU/SCN. This way you can ensure you can see you baby if your DH has to go back to work or has other commitments.

* Have lots of single portion meals in the freezer so you can take them to the hospital or eat quickly when you get home.  It gets very expensive eating in the hospital cafeteria and the food usually isn't any good.  

* Try to prepare yourself for leaving hospital without your baby.  I didn't really think about what it would be like and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

* Let the hospital staff know you would like to be involved in your babies care.  Summer was 3 days old before anyone asked me if I wanted to change a nappy.  Until that moment I didn't feel like a "real mum" as I had just sat there and watched other people care for my baby.

Good luck OP - I hope everything goes smoothly for you.

#13 Lainskii

Posted 23 April 2012 - 08:30 PM

Sorry that you are going through all of this, it must be tough.

My dd was born at 32 weeks (spontaneous waters breaking). I only managed to get one of the steroid injections (as she was so eager to be here she was born before they could give me the second one).

She needed help breathing but was off the respirator after about 3 hours and was breathing on her own.

It took her quite a few weeks to build up a sucking reflex so she was tube fed and then progressed to bottles (and eventually the breast).

She was in the SCN nursery for about 5 weeks  - mainly to gain weight (we didn't need to go to the NICU).

We are very lucky as we haven't had many problems at all, jaundice, a bit of reflux and slow weight gain (so I had to comp her feeds with formula).

Since they are planning your delivery then they will be prepared and your bubs will get the best care possible.

Lots of the normal baby shops (pumpkin patch, target etc) sell premmie stuff now. There are some websites as well, let me know if you want them and I'll try and find them.

Hope it all goes well for you.


#14 miraclebaby11

Posted 23 April 2012 - 09:10 PM

Sorry to hear what you are going through Pinksurvivor. The doctors know what they are doing and I was advised by my OB that 32 weeks was the safe zone.

I was given steriods at 33+2 & 33+4 then induced at 33+6. I had been going into labour since 28 weeks and then started having complications with my diabetes so the OB decided to induce me. My induction worked however due to the size of bubba he got stuck so I had an emergency c/s.

However, DS weighed 3015g so he was a big boy and didn't need any intervention when born apart from a bottle to get his sugar level up. He was in hospital for 4 weeks as he was extremely slow at get his sucking reflex. We did have two sessions under lights for jaundice and also an ultrasound to check for any obstructions as his levels were not reducing. No reason was found for this. Jaundice is apparently common in premmie babies.

When we were in the SCN there were triplets born at 31 weeks and they were doing great. The two boys were in humidi cribs but the girl was thriving. Also there was a set of twins born at 31 weeks who went home when they were only 36 weeks.

The hardest part I found was when I got discharged and had to leave DS behind. Just prepare yourself for this as it tore my heart out.

I hope all goes well for you which I am sure it will.

#15 BronR

Posted 24 April 2012 - 08:30 AM

I am so sorry you are facing this hard time.

My DD was born by planned CS at 32 weeks and is now 4 1/2.

We had steroids on board and she needed no breathing assistance, skipped NICU and went straight to SCN. Se stayed there for 6 weeks mainly due to her size. She was born at 1125 g and went home at 1.8 kg so she was very small for her  gestation which was why she was delivered early ( bad/dying placenta).

Be assured that 32 weekers usually do extremely well and if there is a good reason (for your treatment) for your baby to be born then I wouldn't push for more time. Your health is really important too. I was told at about 15 weeks to aim for 32 weeks as that is considered a kind of magic number for gestation.

You have some great suggestions from other about getting ready. I also say don't worry about getting prem clothes. Target has 00000 and 000000 stuff and even my tiny chicken mostly wore this stuff. I guess your situation will be different as you will be starting treatment yourself so even more reason to get some close family or friends on board to help with getting you to and from hospital, meals etc.

I don't know if your treatment will prevent you from BF but if so think about whether you want to express just for a very short time so baby gets EBM even for a few days or if you think that will cause you more trouble as you would then need to stop. Have clear in your mind before hand what you want and tell your care givers in advance so everyone is on the same page right from the start. You don't want to have to decide right when your baby is born with all sorts of other pressures and emotions at such a hi.

Wishing you all the best and drop back here if you need any more advice or support as there are many women in this section with lots of experience in BBE.




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