Emotions and Possible Medical Treatments for PPROMby Elizabeth MacDonald
PPROM is emotional. It can be terrifying. Mothers who experience PPROM generally must let go of birth expectations and give in to medical options, lots of them.
Possible Medical Treatments for PPROM
There is no ‘Standard of Care’ when it comes to PPROM. Each doctor and hospital may have a different protocol. You see, a doctor may choose his own course of action and abandon treatment any time after 34 weeks gestation, even if the treatment is doing what it should and prolonging the pregnancy.
Only 30% of the doctors reported a formal departmental protocol for managing women with PPROM. While 99% of doctors use steroids and antibiotics, they have the choice to decide if the antibiotics should be administered and when. Some doctors only administer if PPROM occurs prior to 32 weeks, while others administer any time it occurs prior to 34 weeks gestation. There are some doctors who give repeat dosages. Each doctor has their own opinion on why they administer as they do. This needs to be further researched, as antibiotics and steroids are a double-edged sword. They could potentially save the baby, but they can cause severe problems as well.
Most Common Treatment Plans
34 weeks or longer of gestation
The doctor may:
- Monitor the baby’s heart rate
- Induce labor by giving you medicines
- Possibly give antibiotics
32-33 weeks of gestation
The doctor may:
- Induce labor if your baby’s lungs have matured enough
- Give antibiotics
- Possibly give steroids to help your baby's lungs develop faster
- Try to delay delivery until 34 weeks gestation
24-31 weeks of gestation
The doctor may provide treatment with antibiotics and steroids. The doctor may attempt to delay delivery until 34-weeks gestation. (Bed Rest)
Less than 24 weeks of gestation
The doctor may admit you to the hospital for bed rest and to monitor you and your baby. Twenty-four weeks of gestation is about the youngest a baby can be born. The doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of your treatment options. Remember that you have a say in your treatment plan, and every extra day inside the womb is good for your baby.
Being on Bed Rest Does Not Mean Giving Up
There are still things you can do to help prolong this pregnancy while you are on bed rest. Always talk to your doctor about what you would like to try, but remember to bring the research with you.
- Studies show water intake relates to amniotic fluid level, so increasing the amount of water you drink should be a must!
- Research the benefits of taking extra Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Fish Oil (Omega-3), Collagen (Types 1&3), Calcium, and probiotics.
- Exercise, even in bed.
- Eat well, avoid processed foods.
- Change your pad often to avoid bacterial growth.
Emotional Scars Due to PPROM
Depending on your PPROM experience, there is a chance that you may carry emotional scars that change your outlook on pregnancy, birth, and children. You have the right to heal in any and every way possible. One of the best ways to do so is by feeling supported and pursuing information to be educated and educate others.
Join groups like LittleHeartbeats for support.
PPROM is held accountable for approximately one third of preterm births in the United States. It occurs in approximately 0.7-2% of all pregnancies nationally, and has a reported recurrence rate of 21%. Yes, your chances of having another PPROM pregnancy are there – they are real. This is what scares so many couples away from trying for more children. But, there is also the chance that the next pregnancy is normal. There are also things you may decide to do different with another pregnancy. Exercise, diet change, all-around healthier lifestyle, better supplements, anything may make a difference. Not to mention, that you will have a plan with your birth team on how to handle another pregnancy.