Comfort Babies = Not worth the effort.

My dad forwarded me an email from the Glenn Beck show.  It was about how mad he was about something that was said by  Dr. Daphne Austin head of NHS (Britain's government healthcare system). She said  "We are doing more harm than good by resuscitating 23-weekers. I can’t think of very many interventions that have such poor outcomes. For me the big issue is that we’re spending an awful lot of money on treatments that have very marginal benefit. I would prefer to free up that money to spend on providing support to people who have much more lifelong chronic conditions" Mr Beck was upset that Don Berwick, head of U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, idolizes her.  He is afraid that US hospitals will start allowing their own preemies to die, for funding reasons.

What Mr. Beck does not realize is that this is already happening in this country.
Pregnant internet surfing moms know it.  I, along with many other mom's on Baby Center, have or will tell their families to lie to Drs should they get injured and become incapacitated.  I along with many others told my family to tell them that I was 24 weeks even if I was  only 18.  Why would we do that?  Drs here in America classify any baby before 24 weeks (not the 23 of Britain) as "Comfort Babies".  A Comfort baby is one who has a 0% chance of long term survival no matter what medical intervention is preformed.  You may now agree with her...  but there is a problem with this thought line.  My son... and Children like him.
My Very Own Comfort Baby
He was a "comfort baby".  I was told, by the OB over my case, of a study that a resident had done at my hospital.  In this study the resident looked at 100 babies with major heart conditions (Lil' C has ToF) born under 750 grams (Lil' C was 590 g, although he was 27 weeks, he was IUGR).  100% died by 2 weeks post birth.  The Dr used this information to persuade me to have a vaginal delivery so that I "would not have trouble having future children due to the method of C-section that would need to be used to deliver him".  Implying , as he did so, that I was an idiot if I opted for the C-section and that "For some reason having a heartbeat at birth is just important to some women." I opted to do whatever gave Lil' C the best chance of survival.

I found out months later that he had been labeled a Comfort Baby anyway.  Thankfully when he was born he was protesting birth and handed to a Nurse Practitioner who recognized it.  She told him that if he would fight, she would fight too! She intubated him and when they asked my husband if I would want to see him before they took him to the NICU.. his said "Do what is best for (Lil'C)"   So what happened to this 0% chance of survival comfort baby??  Well at this moment he is sitting in my lap watching me type this post.  His expected life span now??  no different than any other 1 year old. He is a first. Now any baby like him in that hospital is no longer 0%. The problem with Comfort Babies?? You never know who is going to break the 0%. :)
Looks Comfortable doesn't he? :)

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  1. Great story! My nephew was also born really really pre-mature, but I don't think he was THAT pre-mature. I want to guess 26 weeks, but still! A year later and he's a happy, healthy, bouncing baby just like any other kid! =)

  2. I truly wish I had more time to read this blog today. Thank you for your reply to me on the Leaky Boob and sending me your link. I will be book marking this page. My daughter Vivian is now 5 weeks and 3 days old and was born at 24 weeks 5 days gestation. I guess she is classified as a "comfort baby" as well. We hope to have as good as an outcome as you although we have other problems on top of her just being premature. You can read about us here

  3. That is why I started posting all the NICU stuff. We used to try and help the other Ronald McDonald families and this is my way of continuing that. :) All the Micropreemiees seem to have issues other than just preemie. I wish it was "just preemie"! Congrats on hitting the 1000g and 2lb marks! When they hit that they tend to start putting on the weight fast (at least that's what our nurses told us :D) Once you get to hold her, everything starts to pick up pace :) Just keep the pumping :)

  4. I was so blessed to be at a hospital with a very progressive, high-ranking NICU when I had my daughter. I was 23 weeks 6 days when I was fully dilated and we realized our baby was coming... I glanced at the clock and realized it was almost midnight and I would be 24 weeks. You'd be amazed what a difference that seemed to make! (Well, YOU wouldn't be amazed- you know- but, still, it was crazy...)


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