Anyone else dealing with an anemic baby?

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Anyone else dealing with an anemic baby?

Postby mjhembreecox » Sat May 15, 2004 04:12 pm

My son James is 5 weeks old and still anemic as of this weeks check up. His number (hematacrit?) was 30.8 and 44-64 is normal for an infant. The papers from the hospital said the number was 34 at discharge, so we have gotten worse instead of better. I am breastfeeding which I am told is best. The doc prescribed vitamin drops which James had been taking for 1 1/2 weeks before his blood draw. He was 4 weeks premature b/c of my severe P/E. In my beautiful, natural birthplan (which P/E blew out of the water), I wanted to wait until the cord quit pulsing before it was cut. I had heard that helped to prevent anemia in the 1st year. So now I am at a loss as to how to help resolve this issue. The doc said I did not need to eat any different than any other breastfeeding mom. I just feel like there should be something to do. All the internet stuff seems to say normal breastfed infants are rarely anemic, but I have not found suggestions for an anemic baby.

I would appreciate any suggestions or experiences.

Martha- moma to James 4/8/04 36 weeks due to PE
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Re : Anyone else dealing with an anemic baby?

Postby paljane8 » Sun May 16, 2004 12:08 am

Martha,

Have you asked your ped how long it will take James to improve? What is the doc's plan if it doesn't? And ask about underlying causes of anemia (other than prematurity)? I am sure you must be so concerned. How is James growing? What was he at birth? Sorry to ask all of these questions. Did he have to stay in the hospital for any period of time?

I hope you are well. Isn't it so dissapointing to have a birth plan go to waste because of PE? It is not fair and I am sorry you experienced it. How are you?

Nancy Eastwood
Moderator/WA State Co-Coordinator

Calvin-8yrs
Saren-7yrs
Scott-4yrs (PE)
Janie-5/03 (PIH, oligo and low blood flow)
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/4/4lbs/
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Re : Anyone else dealing with an anemic baby?

Postby mjhembreecox » Sun May 16, 2004 07:24 pm

My ped did not give me a time frame to expect improvement. We are continuing vitamin drops and go back to the doc in 3 weeks. I assume we will have another blood draw then. He will be 2 months then. James was in the NICU for 8 days after birth. His number was 29 at his first bloodwork, so he went up in the hospital and down within 2 weeks of discharge. The doc did not give me any other reasons for the anemia- I was more focused on what I could possibly do to help him. He said I was doing best by breastfeeding him and giving him the vitamin drops. I am the type of person who rushes home from the doctor and hits the internet to find all the possible answers. I have focused on iron related anemia, but am now finding that other deficiencies can cause anemia too.

James is growing good. He has not grown in length, but his weight has gone from 5 lbs 11 ozs at birth to a low of 5 lbs 3 ozs in NICU, 5 1/2 lbs at discharge, and 6 1/2 lbs now at 5 1/2 weeks old. My lactation consultant was pleased with that progress. He has breastfed beautifully since he was a week old and they let us start trying straight from the breast. I was concerned he was not getting enough because when I pump I don't get much (1/2-1oz), but his weight gain and at least 8 wet diapers a day reassured me.

As for me I am also doing good. While pregnant I expected to deal with post partum depression because I have two grandmothers who deal with depression and nervous conditions. But I have been very even tempered, even while in the hospital for 8 days. I am still mad at myself for "letting" this happen, but I understand that I did not cause this and I will come to terms with this over time. Dealing with that and the hopes of preventing it next time brought me here.

Martha- moma to James 4/8/04 36 weeks due to PE
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Re : Anyone else dealing with an anemic baby?

Postby paljane8 » Wed May 19, 2004 11:30 am

Yeah, Martha, you are right about coming to terms with it. It is a lot to process with or without PPD.

I am going to do some research in this. But, ask your ped what he/she thinks. I would want to know if there is an underlying reason for Jame's anemia.

Take care. Glad you are here, Martha.

Nancy Eastwood
Moderator/WA State Co-Coordinator

Calvin-8yrs
Saren-7yrs
Scott-4yrs (PE)
Janie-5/03 (PIH, oligo and low blood flow)
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/4/4lbs/
paljane8
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Re : Anyone else dealing with an anemic baby?

Postby arj » Wed May 19, 2004 12:08 am

Hi Martha,
It sounds like what Nancy has advised you to do is about the only thing that you can do right now. Talking to your doctor I'm sure will enlighten you and hopefully put you at ease with what is happening with James.

That's outstanding that breastfeeding and the weight gain is going well. That was especially difficult for me after delivering my son. I too had a really LOUSY birth experience. Had this wonderful birthing plan that was "au natural" and ended up with what seemed like 40 gallons of Mag/Pitocin, 21 1/2 hours labor (4 of which were pushing), forceps, a 4th degree tear than took over an hour to repair and 6 days in the hospital. My birthing plan was given back to me and I was told it would be great in my scrapbook. But, that's the way it goes and I am just so thankful that I have my health and a healthy baby. Though it seemed traumatic to me at the time, reading the stories here gives me a new perspective on what is true tragedy and the passage of time has helped me to move on and not dwell on the negativity of my labor.

Just know that there is nothing that you did wrong in any of this. You sound like you are doing remarkably well all things considered. Hopefully the continued nursing and supplements will improve the anemia. From what I have heard, the iron in breastmilk is absorbed in greater quantites than that of formula, so know that you are doing the best thing you can for your little one. Oh, and don't fret about not being able to pump much yet. Your body produces enough for your baby and a 6 1/2 oz. baby will probably not really eat more than a couple of ounces at a time, so the seemingly small quantity that you are pumping is right on. You'll be able to pump more as James gets older and heavier!!! Hang in there![:)]

Allison (28)
DS-Evan, 7/19/2003. PE at 40 weeks
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Re : Anyone else dealing with an anemic baby?

Postby paljane8 » Wed May 19, 2004 04:49 pm

Oh my heavens, Allison! 4th degree tears!!!! What a nightmare!

How is Evan?

Nancy Eastwood
Moderator/WA State Co-Coordinator

Calvin-8yrs
Saren-7yrs
Scott-4yrs (PE)
Janie-5/03 (PIH, oligo and low blood flow)
http://www.babiesonline.com/babies/4/4lbs/
paljane8
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Posts: 1416
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 02:17 pm

Re : Anyone else dealing with an anemic baby?

Postby arj » Wed May 19, 2004 07:10 pm

Yeah.[:(] To make matters worse, afterwards it took 4 different nurses and 4 different attempts to put in a Foley Cath. because no one could really tell what was going on in that area. I thought that they were going to have to peel me off the ceiling.

Wouldn't look "down there" for a good 2 weeks. Must say though that I'm amazed how quickly everything heals!

Allison (28)
DS-Evan, 7/19/2003. PE at 40 weeks
arj
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Re : Anyone else dealing with an anemic baby?

Postby momathelete » Wed May 19, 2004 09:39 pm

Allison - all I have to say is UGH!!!

As for the anemia, my kids are STILL anemic. Well, now they are borderline. MY son was born at 28 weeks and he had his 5 year check up and he is still anemic. She said -well, just give him iron pills. I DO!!!! As for Lainey -I know she is. SHe never likes to eat and she can go two days just eating a few handful of crackers. She will walk around with dark circles under her eyes -then I give her whatever she desires to get the calories in. She'll perk up and then I know her levels are better. I slip protein powder in her OJ and give her milkshakes whenever she wants. She is just a bean pole who would prefer to drink all of her niutrition. Unless it is Ensure and then she skips it all together. I really watch their skin color to see what is lacking. So far the doc has not done any extreme measures, but I think it may be coming. At least my son is now concerned about his levels and will ask me what to eat to get iron. I give them the iron bread plus the multi -which gives them 100%. So it is interesting that they as preemies should still be lacking. Hmmm.. Correlation????



Michelle
Moderator -On Bedrest
Interim Local Coordinator -Illinois

mom to Cole (HELP pregnancy, 28 wkr) 5 yrs old
Lainey (preE pregnancy, 29 wkr) 2 yrs old
Ella (PIH, 37 wkr) 8 mns
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