Anyone have a baby with Bradycardia?

My little boy was born on June 9th at 33 weeks 1 day. He is doing great other than his Bradycardia. He isn't up to all his feeds because of the Bradycardia, last week he had an upper GI that showed he had Reflux, he was having anywhere from 18-20 brady's a day. They put him on Reglan and they have slowing gone done yesterday he had a total of 5 and he pulled himself out of most of them. My question is did you baby have Brady's if so how long did they last? Did they slowly go away ? Any info would be great. I am so worried about my little guy. I am worried this will cause long term effects.

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Michelle, many of our babies had bradycardia spells. They aren't fun to witness, but my understanding is that they won't cause permanent damage, as long as they are watching his sats, which I'm sure they are. It's scary, but a normal preemie thing. I'm not sure when they grow out of them - I do remember the nurses saying that they usually grow out of the apnea spells (which usually pair with the bradys) around 34 weeks. Anyone else remember more specifically?
Welcome to the board - we're here for your questions, venting, etc.!

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Brady's/Apnea is nearly the most common thing in preemies. They do grow out of it, and it just takes time. Because of all the monitors, the nurses are alerted when this is happening, and thus they do as needed to prevent any issues.
Brain damage usually occurs after an extended amount of time, where the brain does not recieve oxygen. Therefore the minor brady's that they pull themselves out of, are really nothing to worry about. It is certainly scary when you are in the room, or hear about them. But, it is the life for a preemie, until they grow out of it.
In fact, your baby wont go home until (most hospitals) they can go 7 days free of Bradys/Apnea, along with a list of other things needed prior to discharge.
Watch your babies ques. When does he Brady usually? Post feeding, mid feeding, at rest? prone? These are all things to keep special note of. Once you get home, you most likely wont have monitors to watch. Let me tell you, watching those monitors is addicting, and getting home you wont have them to rely on. So watch your little man.
Get used to where and how he breaths best, when his heart rate is the best. So you can do that at home, to ease your mind.
My son was on a pulse ox, apnea monitor and o2 for 4 months after he came home. I remember the 1st night with no monitors, I was scared to death. But I had gotten used to watching him, and knowing what worked for him best. That all was fine. He spent 4 months in the NICU, and literally the bradys/apnea were the last thing for him to kick before he went home.
Dont worry, your son probably will be ready to go in 2-4 weeks. But dont quote me!
~Heather

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Our girls spells lasted until they were 35 weeks gestation, and then just stopped. They came home shortly after. We did not come home with any monitors.

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My son was born at 31 weeks and suffered from bradycardia and was diagnosed with severe acid reflux. He came home from the NICU on Reglan and Zantac along with a heart monitor due to the bradycardia. We were required to pass a CPR test before he could come home and this was a little scary realizing that we might have had to administer infant CPR to revive our son. Thank goodness we never had any serious problems. The monitor would go off and that loud sound was usually enough to pull my son out of an episode. He stayed on the monitor for about three months - during which time we were under the care of a pulmanologist. Andy's lungs were fine and he came off the monitor after being home for about three months. He's now almost 4 yrs old and doesn't have asthma or any other respritory problems. We continue to have problems with reflux and he's currently being medicated with Prevacid. I'd classify his reflux as "moderate" and "basically" under control - but he does require prescription meds. I've been told there is still a chance he could outgrow it so we keep our fingers crossed. Otherwise, considering his rough start and the millions of things that could have gone wrong, we'll glady accept the reflux. Best of luck to you and your bundle of joy.

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The better question might be if anyone has had a baby WITHOUT bradychardia.. Bradychardia is scary, but from what I can tell from my twins (3 years now), fairly harmless. Mine had brady's for months even after they came home. Some people say the hospital won't let them leave until they don't have them for a while, that wasn't true, they will KICK you out at some point and send you home with monitors (which are a lot more bearable than the ones in the NICU).

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That preemies have bradycardias isn't uncommon. In fact, it is very common. But the number of bradys does matter.

A couple other things matter.
(1) Is baby having these 18-20 spells throughout the day (e.g. 1 an hour) OR is baby having them in clusters?
(2) Is baby able to get himself out of the brady or does he require intervention?

Our son had bradys caused by reflux. The doctor had some fancy reason why bradys aren't caused by reflux but the nurses would roll their eyes at this statement. You could time the bradys like clockwork after the feeds. 10 minutes after eating, he'd have a brady or two.

I believe that this was caused by the reflux hitting the back of the esophagus causing a "vagle response" when the reflux would hit the "vagle nerve." Have you heard of people having heart attacks while on the toilet? Same idea here. When someone bears down, it can cause a vagle response which causes the heart rate to plummet. When baby has reflux hitting the throat, it can do the same thing.

As baby gets bigger, hopefully two things will happen. First, as baby gets longer, the esophagus gets longer, so that the vagle response is less likely. Second, as baby gains fat, the nerves will be cushioned and hopefully not so sensitive if reflux does make its way up the throat.

I believe our son's bradys were fewer and far between by the later part of 39 weeks gestation. I think that he did have one or two bradys at home, but we caught them on the home apnea monitor.

Our son was on Reglan but it gave him terrible insomnia. We also found it didn't help much. He was also on a couple different acid blockers. Prevacid was the one that finally worked for him.

Best wishes.

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Thanks Ladies,
I am so glad to hear that other people have walked in my shoes. He is doing a ton better it's been 13 hours since his last Brady! I am in shock over it, I can't believe it. He has been slowly getting less and less everyday. I am hopeful the worst is behind us. They just moved him nipple, nipple then tube. So far he has finished his bottle in under 10 mins today! I hope we are home word bound. I know he can have some set backs but I am hopeful that they won't be too bad!!

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Jamie was 30 weeks even and had a two-month NICU stay. His only real problems after we kicked a long standing lung infection were the As and Bs. Those did seem to be associated with his reflux. He grew out of the bradys at about 37 week gestation and came home at 38 without monitors. He grew out of the reflux by age one (and is now a 37 inch tall 2 year old with a very colorful personality and absolutely no problem with eating, unless it's that everything needs to be smothered in ketchup). We'll be praying that the lack of Bs means a trip home soon for yours!

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Well, my little man is doing wonderful taking the breast at every day time feed. The only thing keeping us there is those Brady's he is self recovering on all of them. We could have been home on Friday but he had an Apena spell last night he did self recover. I am hopeful that he will be home next week. He will be 37 weeks on Monday. I am keeping my fingers crossed!!

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that is so helpful thanks! My son was born 27 w 2 d and he is now 38 w 3d and still having the brady spells as well as desatting. He has been having the bradys while I'm nursing the past couple days and it really freaks me out. I feel like I can be watching him and still not know when he is having a spell if it weren't for the monitors. Any tips?
Monica

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thanks - I'm so nervous about my son possibly coming home with monitors for the bradys. They are suspecting reflux, but this is the first I've heard of that concern (he is 11 weeks old and was 27 at birth). They started Reglan and I'm worried about the side effects. Any tips?
Thanks!
Monica

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Monica,
My little guy came home today with monitors don't be scared, they are nothing. He is still having B's but it all due to the reflux so they let us come home, I should add he is self recovering. His monitors have yet to go off and he has been on it since last night. He is back on Reglan, which I am not super happy about but I will do what it takes to help him. My guy is doing great on it. Is your son still in the NICU? Ask for an upper GI. If its reflux brady's they can do it up to a year old.

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Monica,

Regarding your Reglan question, my impression is that it hasn't been systematically studied for long-term effects on infants. On the side effects list, it says "irritability." Our son's GI claimed that was the only effect of Reglan. Our son started on Reglan about 2 weeks before he came home. He came home 5 days after his due date. We were so exhausted after the first 5 weeks at home. Now, I know that everyone says "I'm so tired" when a newborn comes home. And when you try to tell doctors that your child doesn't sleep, they'll write you off as just another parent who didn't know what they were getting into when they decided to have a kid. We were tired b/c our son only slept 1-3 hours PER DAY. That wasn't straight sleep. It was 5 minutes here, 5 minutes there. When we were really lucky, he'd sleep maybe 20 minutes straight at max. That wasn't good for him, because babies need sleep for their brains to grow. That wasn't good for us. We pretty much held him 24-7. We didn't want him to "cry it out" and desat (he came home on oxygen). My milk supply took a major hit b/c I was only sleeping 1-3 hours per day. It was not good.

Basically, we finally figured out that Reglan was the problem b/c we forgot it when we went to visit my parents one day. And our son finally settled down a little bit. We also noticed that it didn't seem to make much of a difference with his reflux. We immediately took him off it. It took a couple weeks, but our finally slept a couple hours straight once in awhile by 2 months adjusted. This slowly improved from there.

We were frustrated that the doctors didn't take our concerns about lack of sleep seriously. It made us questions whether other people could be having problems with Reglan too, but the doctors don't take time to document those concerns.

Best wishes.

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That was us too. Ian would get them when he ate. Not due to reflux, he would just forget to stop chugging and take a breath.

He did grow out of it. But we went home on an apnea monitor just in case.

You can also have them check his iron levels. Usually after a month the amount of iron from the mom runs out and the baby's body takes over making it. Sometimes the baby's system never kicks in, it can make them weak and have bradys.

To this day he is still a pig when it come to food. He tries to stuff everything into his mouth without chewing or swallowing. Meal time is the only time he gets fussy.

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Hi
My son is born at 28 +5 weeks. He is having a bradycardia. Dr decided to transfuse some blood as he was low in haemoglobin. Now there is still some bradycardia but he is getting better. I hope it will go off as he is still just 31 weeks.

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My 34 weeker had a similar course--he stayed 4 weeks in the NICU because he kept having them, periodic breathing and desats. The doctors told me it wasn't caused by the reflux but I don't believe that. After we got home, he start having some respiratory events at home, with color changes. Prevacid and Zantac helped control those episodes and he later had a Nissen (at 2 yo) to control the reflux.

They do outgrow the As & Bs...take heart, it will happen and sometimes happens all the sudden at once.

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