37 weeker NICU stay possible...

  1. Ok so I was a NICU nurse, but the NICU I worked in was at a children's hospital so none of the babies were born there and they came to our NICU because they needed surgeries or had problems beyond what the NICU at the other hospital could care for. So the baies were all different weekers from 24 - 40+, you get the idea. But none of them were there just because of lung immaturity.

    Ok, so I am 37 weeks tomorrow, this is my first baby, I am 25 years old, I am being induced Sunday night because I may have Cholestasis but the tests take a while to come back and it is best to deliver before 38 weeks to reduce risk of stillbirth. So my question is how often do you all see 37 weekers in the NICU for lung issues. WHat type of outcomes do you usually see? what is the normal length of stay? Are they usually just o2 support or vented, ect? I am worried esp becuase he is a boy and I have read white baby boys are the slowest to mature their lungs. I am also scared to death to end up a c-section cause of the induction, but that is a whole seperate issue. My main concern is for the baby.
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    Babies at 37 weeks without issues beyond being early and having a rough birth are fine 99% of the time. Did you say they were inducing because of a birth defect, or is it your health? I wasn't familiar with the word, but I did low risk OB, not NICU. Someone else may have more information.
  4. by   bluepenguin
    Cholestasis occurs when bile acids build in the mother's body and the main symptom is usually extreme itchy skin without a rash. It can lead to liver and gallbladder issues if not treated. It can cause stillbirth later in pregnancy so delivery is done before 37/38 weeks. It is not associated with any birth defects and this has otherwise been a normal pregnancy. This problem has just started two weeks ago and all my labs for liver function have been normal, but the bile acid salt test takes a long time to come in and they would rather delivwer now than wait for the results and risk something happening to the fetus in utero. So while I know he is safer outside at this point, I am still scared about lung issues and just wondering what experience NICU nd Land D nurses have had with 37 weekers. Thanks.
  5. by   Jolie
    Your physician is considering the risk to benefit ratio of delivering you at 37 weeks, which is wise and prudent.

    It is impossible to say that a baby delivered at 37 weeks will not experience lung disease, but the likelihood is very small. It sounds like the potential risk of continuing your pregnancy beyond 37 weeks is greater in terms of your health and your baby's than the small risk posed by delivery at 37 weeks.

    If you would feel more at ease, you could ask your OB to do an amnio the day prior to your scheduled induction to assess lung maturity. If the amnio indicates insufficient surfactant production, you could discuss your options regarding induction versus waiting versus steroid administration. I suspect that your doctor isn't too keen on doing an amnio, though, as RDS is relatively rare in 37 weekers.

    Best of luck to you for a healthy and uneventful delivery! Please let us know how things go!
  6. by   GoldenLove
    I personally haven't seen many 37 weekers with lung issues. 37-42 weeks is considered full term. In fact, I had a 36 week baby due to toxemia and she was fine and went to the well baby nursery with no problem...Good Luck to you!!!
  7. by   KaroSnowQueen
    My grandson delivered at 37 weeks d/t pre-eclampsia (severe) and no problems other than some transitional jaundice treated at home with small bili lights in his blankets. Now nearly 2, smart as a whip with a seemingly budding career as a circus trapeze artist (climbs EVERYTHING)!!!!!!
    If everything ok so far, pretty sure your babe will be ok.
  8. by   PurrRN
    My twins boys were delivered at 37+4 due to pre-ecclampsia issues. Neither required any O2 support or specialized care. Now they are 6 years old and are terroriffic . I hope things go as well for you.
  9. by   2curlygirls
    They usually do fine. Good luck!
  10. by   missapoo
    I too think things will be fine for you....like others have said there is no 100% surity but the stats for 37 weekers are definately in your favor for a trouble free delivery and transition.
  11. by   SteveNNP
    We rarely get 37 weekers unless they're just slow to transition, requiring monitoring for an hour or two before going to WBN. If we ever KEEP a 37 weeker, it's because it's got a defect, or is infected.
  12. by   helpthebear
    I am an NICU nurse and my last baby, also a boy, was born at 37 weeks. He did have some mild respiratory distress and spent two days in the NICU (where I work) but he went home with me.
  13. by   dawngloves
    I hope you are well! Let us know how everything goes!
  14. by   Jokerhill
    99% fine considered full term where I work and go home with mom.

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