amniocentesis for fetal lung maturity

Michaela - posted on 12/10/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )




Has anyone had to get an amniocentesis to test for fetal lung maturity? I had one yesterday and I was scheduled for an induction last night (assuming the test would come back fine). They needed him to be at 50 or 55 and he was at a 25. The nurse just smiled and said "you're not going today." I don't mind waiting but I am wondering why his lungs are so immature? He is measuring 6.5lbs at 36 weeks (I don't have gestational diabetes but I am preeclamptic) so he is measuring about 37 weeks (which is what I have thought this whole pregnancy considering I knew when I got pregnant.) The perinatologist said,-prior to getting the results back-that the lungs gain about a point a day so they'll be able to tell me how long until I can be induced. If this is true then I will go past my due date trying to get to 50 alone. None of this makes sense and I feel so sad and scared to deliver now. My doctor is now going to see me twice a week until we can deliver. Anyone shed some light or have a similar experience? Thank you so much...


Rae - posted on 12/13/2009




Your pre-eclampsia might have something to do with his lungs - when you have pre-eclampsia the blood flow through the placenta is restricted so the baby receives less oxygen. In utero the lungs are predominantly bypassed by the oxygenated blood from the placenta, because they don't actually serve a function until after birth. They only receive a very limited blood supply, which generally is just enough to allow them to develop but if there is less oxygen in the blood it makes sense that there would be less development. The body is a clever thing, it is probably diverting as much oxygen as it can to the brain so it doesn't suffer, and letting the other organs make do.

Have the doctors mentioned anything about giving you steroid shots? Over here (Australia) women who have to deliver early or have immature babies are given two shots of steroids 24hrs apart, because the steroids cross the placenta and cause the lungs to speed up development and start producing surfactant (the secretion that mature lungs produce to stop them from collapsing every time we breath out - this normally starts to be produced from 34 weeks but some babies, like yours, might start a bit later). This decreases the risks of needing resuscitation or a ventilator after birth (doesn't eliminate the risks completely, just helps).

Try asking if you can have a tour of the neonatal intensive care unit at the hospital you will be delivering at - it all looks and sounds a bit scary but seeing all the machines and understanding what they do will help take a lot of the fear out of having a baby that needs special care in the early days, and most of the nurses there are really good at being reassuring and encouraging to worried parents.

I don't know if any of this has helped, but I hope some of it has. Best of luck for everything!!

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