advice--help--feedback

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jperry5683's picture
Joined: 02/13/10
Posts: 525
advice--help--feedback

So its been determined that I will be in the confines of this lovely hospital room until baby comes-- i have gotten over my pity party for the most part and am just praying that baby stays baking. He is measuring ahead by 1 week and 2 days and while i know that u/s can be way off- i am simply hoping that it is not off by too much.

So ideas of what to do on my bed rest? good books to read..things to research..etc also does anyone have toddler and husband friendly recipes so my husband can make sure that ds is eating properly while i am away?

here is my main question... so i have been told by different people that if baby is born before 32 weeks I have to wait until 32 weeks before I can bring him to the breast (of course if there are no major issues going on) to feed. I would have to be feeding expressed milk through however nicu will be feeding him tube or syringe. I am waiting on the official answer from the nicu here. I have also heard different stories about nicu's having strict policies on breastfeeding. When I went to look it up there is lots of crap about preemies having so much of a harder time breastfeeding and the issues that come along with it. So I need to arm myself with knowledge and stories. Anyone know of people with b/f stories and their preemies or simply have any other info on the subject? Thanks!

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

:bigarmhug:

Do you have a baby book for DS that needs updating? That should kill some time Smile

If I were unexpectedly hospitalized, I would try not to worry "what" my DH and DD were eating. So long as your DH is feeding him, he'll be fine. Don't stress yourself out about it. if it helps to pass the time, make a short list of dinner items that your DH can handle.

Baby measuring ahead is a great sign! U/S aren't that accurate at this point but 9 days ahead is at least an indication that you're ahead of the game. I'm sorry I don't have any specifics on nursing a preemie. What I do know is that you should try to get BFing established as soon as possible and you should absolutely be pumping as much as possible if baby isn't nursing. Pump as often as a newborn nurses. Say every hour during the day and every 2-3 at night. Its hardcore but that's what its going to take to set yourself up for success. I've never heard that you HAVE to wait until 32 weeks. I think its more to do with baby not having the required reflexes to nurse, which is why they'd be tube feeding or syringe feeding. Ask to see an LC immediately, like now, so you'll be better prepared. Contact local breastfeeding groups now for support later. You're fortunate that you have time to prepare (and hopefully a good amount of it).

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

My cousin was diagnosed with a small uterus after she had her son. He was born at around 30 weeks or so if memory serves, and I never heard her say she had any challenges with nursing at all. He also has Down's Syndrome. She is now a little over 3 months pg with her second child.
As far as feeding N, it would depend on what he likes, but things like Spaghetti (I always add chopped up spinach to the sauce), burritos or just eating fresh veggies with some kind of dip. I don't remember if N likes veggies, but Lyla loves roasted veggies and it's super simple. Just tell your DH to take said veggie (brussel sprout, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, etc.) cut it up and put it in a baking dish, drizzle a little olive oil, and a bit of salt and roast at around 400*F for around 30 minutes. You may already know that one, and if so, ignore me. Smile

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

:grouphug:

I don't have a lot to add, but I think Erin's suggestions are excellent. I have never heard of having to wait until 32 weeks either.

Updating a baby book for DS is a great idea--I wish I had the time to do that for Adair! The only reason she has one at all is because I had a Groupon that was about to expire, and I just dumped a bunch of photos in the day before and hit print--they're not even all in order Sad

As far as toddler meals, I don't know how picky your DS is, but Adair eats a lot of peas, chicken, avocado, fruit...just simple things like that. No (or very little) cooking required! (I just discovered the pre-cooked chicken chunks at Trader Joe's...WIN.)

KittyRN's picture
Joined: 02/03/09
Posts: 1260

Keep cooking baby!!

I had a friend who had her son at 33 weeks and breastfed him right away. And he went home in 10 days!!!!

As for measuring ahead, it IS still a fairly correct measurement, but it just cant predict weight. They measure head circumference, femur length and abdo circumference. So he could measure ahead and still not be HUGE if he's on the skinny side. Simon measured ahead but was in the 25th percentile at birth since he was long and skinny.

And as long as your son is eatin i wouldnt worry too much. Smile

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

If a list of meal ideas to give to your husband helps, then why not? I wouldn't worry what he's eating as much as variety over time. My husband would give DS cereal and banana every morning. PB&J for lunch everyday with a fruit cup, and probably have pizza 2-3 times a week. lol. So not unhealthy but uhhh, variety needed.
Might help him with ideas (we do several of these as dinner as a family like creatively stuffed quesadillas):
Cooking with Mrs Sea Monster: Toddler Lunches: Going Beyond Chicken Nuggets, Hot Dogs, and PBJ Sandwiches

As far as BFing goes, definitely great to ask the doctors there questions. You'll want to ask about a pump now so that you have it after birth. Ask about an LC to talk to too. Is there a local LLL you can contact? They'd be good support and can remind you of things to ask and consider in your journey. I haven't heard of a 32 week rule before, I think it's more that most preemies don't have that reflex yet to be able to nurse. What you can ask questions about is him getting your BM rather than their preemie formulas. I don't know a lot of details (just what I've picked up on from others in this situation), but I know that initiating BFing is different with preemies many times. That nursing sessions are rather quick, but you want to ask to nurse as much as possible so they get a lot of practice (depends on their health really though). ((hugs)) With luck all this hospital bed rest will allow this baby to bake for several more weeks.

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

There's a few wonderful articles that I've read about kangaroo care and the imperativeness of it with a preemie. I don't have time right now to find it but I will.

I would imagine bf'ing will depend on YOUR babys' ability not just a timeline. I agree with Erin, if you're unable to nurse, pump, pump and pump! Find a LC now and start going over game plans with her now.

I have to pick up DS in a few minutes but I'll get back here tonight and add some stuff.

BuckeyeK's picture
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

Have you joined pinterest yet? That would fill some time each day. Do you know how to knit or crochet? Or know someone who does? Or can watch videos on you tube? You could work on making some cute hats/blankets/things for the baby. There are lots of free patterns out there. If you join Ravelry, it's a wealth of patterns - some free, some low cost.

As far as BM for a preemie, I don't have any experience, but I'd make sure the drs know your intentions to provide BM, and talk to an LC now. Make sure they can get you a good hospital grade pump, or if you have a double electric pump at home I'd have someone bring it in just so it's there. Is there a LLL group near you? They may be able to direct you to some good info on pumping for/nursing a preemie.

As far as what DH/DS are eating, do you have friends/family nearby that can set up a meal train for your family? meal Train | Meal Calendar for New Parents, Surgery, Illness, and More I've even seen people post a meal train link on facebook. Do you attend a church? Your church friends might help out, too.

Best wishes and many hugs to you. I hope that baby boy keeps baking!

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

Oh yeah, meal train is a great thing to set up!!! Friends of ours used it when their son was first diagnosed with cancer and the mom and son were away for treatment. It made the rest of us feel like there was something we could do to really help. People love to help, they really do, but it's hard to know what someone needs, especially like in this case where we are friends with them but not best friends so they're older child wasn't comfortable with us so we couldn't help like that and I don't know her well enough to offer to clean her house but meals, THAT I can do! I would definitely set that up for DH and DS!!

I taught myself how to knit using you tube videos. Definitely try it out, it would help kill lots of time.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

"momW" wrote:

I taught myself how to knit using you tube videos. Definitely try it out, it would help kill lots of time.

That's a GREAT idea! Or any hand craft that you find interesting, really, and can get someone to bring you supplies for.

CamelNoodle's picture
Joined: 07/28/04
Posts: 908

:lurk:
Time to take up a craft -- knitting, crocheting, sewing.
This is fun: http://www.amygunson.com/Sewing/Paper%20Piecing.pdf :goodluck: Hope your stay is long (and I mean that in the nicest possible way, I hope baby bakes good and long!)

devermee's picture
Joined: 07/24/06
Posts: 239

"TiggersMommy" wrote:

:bigarmhug:

If I were unexpectedly hospitalized, I would try not to worry "what" my DH and DD were eating. So long as your DH is feeding him, he'll be fine. Don't stress yourself out about it. if it helps to pass the time, make a short list of dinner items that your DH can handle.

Baby measuring ahead is a great sign! U/S aren't that accurate at this point but 9 days ahead is at least an indication that you're ahead of the game. I'm sorry I don't have any specifics on nursing a preemie. What I do know is that you should try to get BFing established as soon as possible and you should absolutely be pumping as much as possible if baby isn't nursing. Pump as often as a newborn nurses. Say every hour during the day and every 2-3 at night. Its hardcore but that's what its going to take to set yourself up for success. I've never heard that you HAVE to wait until 32 weeks. I think its more to do with baby not having the required reflexes to nurse, which is why they'd be tube feeding or syringe feeding. Ask to see an LC immediately, like now, so you'll be better prepared. Contact local breastfeeding groups now for support later. You're fortunate that you have time to prepare (and hopefully a good amount of it).

"BuckeyeK" wrote:

As far as what DH/DS are eating, do you have friends/family nearby that can set up a meal train for your family? meal Train | Meal Calendar for New Parents, Surgery, Illness, and More I've even seen people post a meal train link on facebook. Do you attend a church? Your church friends might help out, too.

Best wishes and many hugs to you. I hope that baby boy keeps baking!

I'm sure it's easier said than done, but I agree to no worry too much about what DH/DS are eating at home. As long as they are eating something they will be fine. Meal Train is an excellent idea - someone set this up for a family in our church when she was pregnant with triplets.
A couple quick/easy things I can think of though for meals - now they may not be the *best* nutritional content, but easy Smile Wrap up cut hot dogs in crescent rolls - can put a slice of cheese in between if wanted & bake them per directions on the can of rolls - DD loves these. Also, make up some taco meat & instead using a taco shells, place over top tortilla chips/doritos, along with whatever toppings sound good.

As far as BF, your best bet for info is to talk to the LC at your hospital. I don't remember with DD there being a magic age when you could attempt to BF, every hospital could have their own criteria. There is probably a general recommendation as to the earliest preemies are generally able to BF - I'm sure if you search around you could find this info, and it could very be approximately 32 weeks. The biggest thing is that they have to be mature enough to coordinate their suck/swallow/breath!! Something so easily taken for granted!!
I know there are people that are successful at being able to BF their preemies. Until you get the go-ahead, be sure to pump away to keep up your supply! Oh, and be sure to use a hospital grade pump!! My hospital was able to supply one in DD's hospital room so I could pump whenever I was there with her & I ended up renting one for home. With DD, she was fed breast milk (via tube) once they ok'd her to be off of her IV nutrition. Preemies burn more calories because they sometimes work so hard at coordinating everything, so they often do require extra calories. I forget how many calories regular BM/formula have - I think it's something like 22 cal/oz, so sometimes they add to the BM to make it 24 or 26 cal/oz. So DD was fed BM with a human milk fortifier to boost up the calorie content so she wouldn't lose weight in the efforts expended to eat & gain weight.
I unfortunately was not able to BF DD, but I don't think it was necessarily due to her prematurity. Once she was able to get the suck/swallow/breath thing down (via bottle), they determined that she was aspirating liquids into her lungs, so needed thickened liquids, so we had to add thickener to her BM. I forget when they finally cleared her via a swallow study - well after she was discharged from the hospital, so by then she had been feeding via bottle at least a good 6 months, so by that time she wanted nothing to do with the breast. I ended up exclusively pumping for a year with her.

What to do while confined to your hospital bed?? I'm not sure if you saw one of the other posts - check out keep em cookin' for other ideas posted by moms on bedrest or those that have been through it before. I wasn't on hospital bedrest so was able to do a few extra things - I finished my wedding scrapbook from 5 years prior Smile I found tons of on line tutorials/patterns for things to sew - burp cloths, bibs, nursing covers, car seat covers - granted most of those require a sewing machine, but someone mentioned knitting/crocheting - great ideas. Movies. Books. I spent so much time on line. Do you have a name picked out yet - that can take up lotsa time Smile
Plan out your birth announcement/design, start any thank you cards you can now (ppl bringing meals for DH/DS, etc) so you don't have to do them all after baby is born. Christmas is around the corner -- if you send out holiday cards you can start hunting for those; online shop for christmas gifts...I always make a personalized calendar for the grandparents from Snapfish or Shutterfly & of course wait til the end so I get way stressed out downloading photos of the kids & designing my calendars Smile

Keeping you in my thoughts & prayers!!

Newlywed630's picture
Joined: 07/20/07
Posts: 770

Sorry to hear your on bedrest...
The other ladies gave you get advice. I would also just not worry too much about what ds and dh are eating as long as they are eating something lol. Easy meals around here include, veggie burgers, turkey hotdogs, and crockpot meals.

I was on bedrest with Trevor and I watched alot of tv. I also played a nintendo ds alot lol! I was 18 with no other kids so... it wasn't too hard just very bored.

Keep baking your little sweet baby! I hope you have a LONG hospital stay!

stacymh's picture
Joined: 03/16/10
Posts: 1807

Sorry you are on bedrest and away from home. I agree with what the other ladies have said. Maybe some crockpot meals for your DH? Just throw in a few things and walk away while it cooks. I don't have much to add other than hugs and prayers being sent your way.

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

Do sorry you are on bedrest. Hope your LO keeps on cooking for a long time still.

If you do have to bring your milk in with a pump then totally request a hospital grade pump and lots of extra parts to go with it so you aren't washing pieces non-stop. When I brought my milk in for DS2 while he was in the NICU I found pumping every 1.5-2 hours to be essential. The LC recommended that I skip a pump at night so I could sleep at least 4-5 hour period and that actually made a big difference in the exhaustion factor. I only had to do this for a few days so I'm not sure what the long term would look like for a preemie. Also used my battery attchment plug on my medela pump so I could leave the hospital and pump in the car or when we were out and about. I totally recommend getting something like that if your LO has to stay in the hospital and you are able to come and go.

I really hope your LO bakes a few more weeks and is able to nurse like a champ when he arrives.

tink9702's picture
Joined: 09/28/08
Posts: 2977

Nothing to add to what everyone else has suggested, but wanted to say I'm thinking of you and I hope baby bakes much longer!