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Kelli

I.v. Fed During Pregnancy

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My mother was pregnant with twins 14 years ago and she had an iv line in for 6 months of it due to her severe morning sickness so that nutrients would get to the babies. After miscarrying my own set of twins in February then finding out it was becauseof Celiac Disease (diagnosed 1 month ago), I am really concerned with this pregnancy (just found out today!) I know I should take liquid vitamins so my body absorbs the vitamins better but I'm wondering if I get an i.v. feed if I would have a better chance of keeping my baby nourished. Anyone had to do this or heard of it?

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IMO, if you stay on the gluten-free diet, you should be fine. Your body absorbs nutrients when you are gluten-free. If you are really concerned, you could drink Ensure or something. But most importantly, you should talk to your OB very soon. They can draw blood and check your nutrient levels, iron levels, etc and then go from there. I don't think they would be willing to put in an IV unless you stayed in the hospital. And insurance wouldn't be too happy about that! IV lines can get infected very quickly, and are usually monitered by a nurse.

Congrats on the pg!

ptkds

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Anyone had to do this or heard of it?

I have done IV feedings, but not during pregnancy. I did it for 2 years during cancer treatment as a teenager, for another year in my 20's before my celiac disease diagnosis and for another month right after I was diagnosed. It is called TPN or Total Parenteral Nutrition.

I did this as an outpatient for most of the time, but I did have to go into the hospital (I was in for 5 days last time) to get the central line placed. A central line is like a permanent catheter placed in either your chest or arm. There are different kinds, and they are prone to infection, like ptkds said. The last time, I had a home health nurse that would come to my house and change the dressing once a week. I had a portable pump that I wore in a backpack along with the IV bag. It ran for 12 hours a night.

This is not a treatment that the insurance company will authorize without a compeling reason. You pretty much have to be close to dying before they will do it. It requires a lot of medical monitoring, and is extremely costly - I think it was $20k/month for the TPN alone. I would say that unless you had severe morning sickness to the point of not being to kep anything down your doctor would not consider this treatment for you. It may come into play as a short term fix, but a longer term dose of it would be less likely.

If you are following the gluten-free diet, you will begin to absorb food and get nutrients to your baby.

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I was on TPN for two weeks in my second pregnancy because I couldn't keep anything down. At that point, I had never heard of celiac, and only now realize that the reason I couldn't keep anything down was because I kept trying to eat crackers like the doctor told me to.... :ph34r:

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When you go to see your OB, tell her that you want to have blood levels of all possible vitamins/minerals checked because of the celiac, and the fact that you just started on the gluten-free diet. That's what I did. Almost all of my levels came back low. Not dangerously low, just lower than normal, and definitely lower than she wanted to see in a pregnant woman. So, she has me taking an extra prenatal vitamin every other day and we'll keep monitoring the blood levels. She said that once my levels are good, she'll have me go to one prenatal per day.

I agree with the other responses that IV feeding is probably not necessary. I would imagine that you would have to be VERY ill to require that kind of treatment. Is it possible that your mom is celiac as well? That could very well explain her severe morning sickness (and probable malabsorption).

The human gut is pretty resiliant. As soon as you remove the irritant (in our case, gluten), the intestines will start to heal themselves. That is one reason why a biopsy can be negative just weeks after gluten is removed from the diet.

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