May 28

Preparing to Give Birth to a Preemie

Just like every expecting mom, I never imagined that I will deliver a prematurebaby, most of all a micro preemie who’s only six months into gestation. Moms who have the most potential to deliver a premature baby are those whose pregnancies are classified as high-risk. You are considered high-risk if your pregnancy involves any of the following:
  • Problems with the placenta
  • Pregnancy with twinsor more
  • Infection in the mother
  • Problems with the uterus or cervix
  • Young or old maternal age
  • Being overweight or underweight
  • Having had problems in previous pregnancies
  • Pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, dabetes
  • Medical condition pregnancy related such as preeclampsia, eclampsia and gestational diabetes.
In my case, I qualify in three items above. I have infection, problems with my placenta, uterus, cervix and I had problems in my previous pregnancy. From the start, my pregnancy was already considered as high risk. If you qualify in any of the conditions above, or your OB-Gyne already advised you of a possible pre-term delivery, then here are the factors that you might want to consider: a.    Find a hospital near your home.

Chances are, you will go home first before your baby. It will be convenient if your hospital is near your home so you can visit and breastfeed your baby several times a day.

b.    Check if your hospital has a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Not all hospitals have NICU so it is best to check out if your hospital has one. It will be a hassle and also dangerous for the baby to be transported just because the hospital does not have NICU facilities. Even public hospitals have NICU such as Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), Philippine General Hospital (PGH), etc…, so it does not mean that you have to be in a private hospital.

c.    Scout for a good neonatologist.
Preemies have different needs and management compared with full term babies so pediatricians may not give them the special care that they need. Neonatologist are trained to handle premature babies and their conditions. Our neonatologist is Dra. Tita Uy who was referred to us by my OB-Gyne. She is from St. Luke’s Medical Center and Philippine General Hospital. With the help of the internet, you can find referrals from mommy forums. Ours got good comments from her patients.

d.    Breastfeeding is a must!
For all babies, it is best to breastfeed, but most importantly for preemies. Their tummies are not strong enough to process infant formula. Breast milk has nutrients that can make babies strong which no vitamins or formula milk can provide. Most, if not all neonatologist require breast milk for preemies. There are available breast milk in some hospitals but they are expensive. Even more expensive than buying formula milk. So why spend loads of money if you can have it for free?

e.    Prepare financially.
How I wish that we can just forget about finances and just focus on our babies. But sadly, that is not reality. Delivering a premature baby can be really expensive from cost of delivery, to baby’s confinement inside the NICU.

Just like in every scenario in our lives, it is best to be prepared. But remember, these points are not meant to scare or cause stress to pregnant moms. These are just things you might want to consider if your pregnancy is high risk. In the end, it is always best to have a full term pregnancy and deliver a healthy baby.

 

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Posted May 28, 2012 by kat in category My Family, My Preemie's Journey, Pregnancy and Baby

2 thoughts on “Preparing to Give Birth to a Preemie

  1. Jhane

    Hi Mom Kat, i find your blog really helpful. I am on my 26 weeks and currently stays in Dubai. My doctor was very honest with me regarding my baby’s condition. She has low amniotic fluid, and i am having signs of pre-eclampsia. Hence, she advised me to go back home and deliver there in the ph. The cost of Nicu here in dubai is so expensive and not covered by my insurance, so i guess the best decision was to deliver in the ph. I am quite worried as i have no idea whose doctor to go to and which hospital may have the beat facility to accept my case. Would you mind if i ask you which hospital you delivered? How much was the cost for the baby? Was the services good there? Thank you very much Mom kat. And i am looking forward to reading for of your blogs. Thanks and God bless

    Reply
    1. kat (Post author)

      Hi Jhane! First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy. Babies are always a blessing and it is for this reason why even the most unimaginable circumstances become bearable. Thank you so much for taking time to read my blog. I hope that you and your baby are both doing well as you read my reply. About your queries, may I know where do you live in the Philippines? Location plays a big factor in delivering a preemie as it usually entails extended stay in the NICU for the baby and you need to be close to your baby not only for regular visits but also to deliver your milk. In terms of facilities and expert professionals capable in handling preemies, Metro Manila has quite a number of hospital options.
      As for my son, he was born at Capitol Medical Center in Quezon City. Due to his condition and low birth weight, a neonatologist from St Luke’s Quezon City was asked to take his case. His neonatologist is Dra. Tita Uy. She’s also a neonatologist in Philippine General Hospital in Manila, and Delgado Medical Center in Quezon City. Other good private hospitals in handling preemie cases are St Luke’s Global (in BGC), Makati Medical Center, Asian Hospital (Alabang), and Medical City (Pasig). As for public hospitals, i heard Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City is also a good option. I remember, there were twins already in the NICU when my son came in. But due to the cost, the family had to transfer the kids to PCMC and i heard they thrived well.
      The cost of delivering a preemie varies on the age of gestation when the baby is born. The farther from the full term delivery date, the higher the cost as the baby will need more help in order to reach his/her full potentials. Of course, a good OB-gynaecologist’s priority must be to keep the baby inside your tummy the longest possible time under the lowest risk. The stronger the baby, the less assistance it will require for his/her to have her senses and organs fully functioning.
      As for my son, since he was delivered at 26 weeks and stayed in the NICU for 3.5 months, the cost was definitely a figure we never thought we will ever see in a hospital bill. His confinement in a private hospital played a big factor in the cost. I hope i did not scare you on this one. I was thinking of avoiding sharing this information but i know this is one of your concerns. As a parent, I really wish that finances is the last thing we can worry about when the life of our child is at risk.
      I know you might be anxious and has a lot of things going on in your mind right now. But take it one step at a time. Stress and anxiety can aggravate your situation and will not be very good for the baby. I guess, as an advice, the first thing to do is to look for a high-risk OB-gyne from the hospital of your choice here in the Philippines. I hope you are accessible to any of the hospitals I mentioned above, but if not, at least find the best high-risk OB-gyn in your location. She will be first one to assess you and your baby’s condition, what are your birthing options and the neonatologist who can best handle your baby’s condition upon birth. From there, everything else will follow, but i still hope you can go full term.
      Jhane, I hope i was able to be of help to you. I will be saying a prayer for you and your baby. If you have further questions or just want to share your story, you can send me a message over at my FB page @momkatsnotes. I will be able to respond faster there. Wishing you and your baby all the best! God bless!

      Reply

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