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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Not so good weekend

I wrote this post more than 3 years ago and put it under draft. I just changed some names. But I believe it is time to post this so I am publishing it.

A family member B gave birth yesterday, 8 January 2010 at 723pm. Her baby, A, is 32 weeks and 6 days old. She was 4.4lbs and 19inches. B was admitted to the hospital last Monday (4 January). She was given medicines to slow down contractions. The baby was also given steroids to hasten lung development. Finally, on Friday, her ob-gyne said that the baby could no longer wait and she was to deliver that day.
I took a half-day off work and went straight to Ortigas with N and B's mom (who was supposed to take the afternoon flight back to Davao City). B finally delivered on Friday evening. Baby A is still in the incubator until today. Initially, they were only giving her canula (oxygen). However, her left lung had difficulty expanding so the doctor put her on CPAP (ventilator).
Which brings me to her doctor --- the evil Dr. Q. Dr. Q was recommended by B's ob-gyne as she was a neonatologist. I first met her on Saturday morning. When she came, we were asking her about Baby A's status and she kept using these highfalutin technical medical terms. None of us were doctors there so I kept asking more questions and I could tell that she was getting more irritated. Isn't it supposed to be the doctor's duty to help the patient understand what is happening by explaining or translating medical terms into something more palatable to non-doctors.
Plus - aside from putting the baby on IV drip with glucose water, she told us that for A's first 2 feedings, they were going to give glucose water. I asked her what about colostrum? She told me -- no - she was not going to give colostrum to A, lest she choke. I told her that we were able to collect a couple of drops of colostrum which she told me to throw away because it was too little! I was really unhappy with what she said but I held my tongue as I'm not a doctor.
But in my blog space -- let me rant!! B's mom told me that she was a pioneer in the "neonatology" field. I told B's mom that I don't like old doctors who were set in their ways and did not want to consider change or listen to opinions of others. Dr. Q was such a doctor. It really frustrates me that much as I want B to breastfeed, she ended up with a neonatologist who was not breastfeeding friendly. Since baby A is still in the NICU, I didn't want to pressure B although she does continuously pump every 3 hours. I just wish we found a more supportive neonatologist like Dr. Z (who was no longer connected to the hospital where B gave birth). To think that this hospital prides itself as being breastfeeding friendly!
I also hope that Dr. Q did not read this article I got from my news feed last week. According to Prof. Sven Carlsen of Norwegian University of Science and Technology, breastmilk is not better than baby formula -- he claims that the studies showing that breastfed babies were healthier than formula fed babies are actually because the moms who were able to successfully breastfeed had a healthier pregnancy as compared to moms who failed to breastfeed (due to an "unhealthier pregnancy").
Most concluded that the longer a child is nursed, the healthier it will be. The professor said this may be the case, but it was because of a healthier pregnancy, not the breast milk. His research shows that high levels of the male sex hormone testosterone in the womb affect a woman's ability to produce milk and to breast-feed.
With testosterone levels affected by the health of the placenta, which ferries oxygen and nutrients to the baby, the professor believes high amounts indicate poorer conditions in the womb overall.
This means that any differences in the health of a baby bottle-fed because its mother finds breastfeeding difficult are set before birth, rather than afterwards.
You can read more about this here:
2. BBC
For another blogger's take on this article, read this.


Unknown said...

wow, bad trip this Dr. Q ha! I am almost on my 30th week now and i cannot imagine having to encounter a doctor as ignorant as this! i dont care about her credentials... colostrum could choke?! anuhbuh!

Jen, I also read the importance of holding immediately babies particularly premature ones.

I hope baby Anya and your sister all the best in the world. They will be in my prayers tonight for good health and happy recovery.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry to hear about your weekend. this is really frustrating. it frustrated me just by reading your post. i think if your sister thinks that the doctor was right, then you can let go of your frustrations. however, your sister might be confused/scared with her sudden birth so talking might help her. i'm not being pushy here, it's just frustrating hearing about this. i hope you guys can sort this out. good luck!

Melodie said...

Oh that makes me so mad for you and your sister. I'd be giving that baby some colostrum behind the doctor's back. Oh, right. The baby is in NICU right? Ack! How frustrating!!! Can your sister demand to give her baby colostrum/breast milk? Doesn't she have rights as her mother?

Jenny said...

thanks everyone! baby anya is improving and hopefully, everything will go on smoothly and she will be released from the NICU soon. Am sure Dr. Q meant well but I just didn't like her bedside manner. my sister has been continuously pumping and just this morning she finally got her milk out! hooray! :D i've also started pumping again per my sister's request but only 1x a day!

Jenny said...

hi april! thanks for visiting. congrats on your baby boy :) yes, having a supportive pediatrician is essential for being able to succeed at breastfeeding. happily, my sister is now exclusively breastfeeding anya on her own without relying on breastmilk from donors :D

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