PT for Layla - really want input (very long-sorry)

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
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Re : PT for Layla - really want input (very long-sorry)

Postby lizzybeth » Fri Nov 26, 637649 1:43 am


Just a quickie to let you know that my 33 weeker who did not have any time in NICU also needed some PT, he waasn't sitting up as soon as the ped would have liked. Worked like a charm!

Good luck with your PT!

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Re : PT for Layla - really want input (very long-sorry)

Postby mama2twins » Fri Nov 26, 637649 1:23 am

OK I am home now and the girls are sleeping!!
Although it is impossible for me to tell you my opinion on what you were told by the therapists without me evaluating her myself, I can try to address the issues you wrote about in general.
Up until around 2-3 months old, fisted hands are quite normal. Preemies do miss out on what is called "physiological flexion" in the womb where they are balled up tight, with knees flexed to the chest. They instead get laid out flat on their back in a isolette. As a result they sometimes favor extension....legs straight out and they outgrow it. I am not too concerned about "stiffness" until a baby is over 3 months adjusted age and they are also falling behind with developmental milestones. Layla is still always have to look at her adjusted age.
As far as favoring turning her head to one side, I am assuming that they told you her neck was tight on one side and gave you stretches and activities to do? If this is the case, find comfort in knowing that 50% of my patients have this and most are not preemies. Most of the time this is a result of sleeping on the back (although neck weakness and not enough room in the womb--huge babies, can also be reasons). Ever since reserchers discovered that SIDS was assoiciated with tummy sleeping and recommended back sleeping (which is obviously very important), tons of babies develop torticollis (tight neck muscles) because they start to favor turning their head to same side when they sleep and the opposite side gets tight. This is the also the cause of the whole flat head thing with so many babies wearing helmets to reshape their heads.
The exercises they gave you are great for stretching out her trunk (and can help with gas!!) and like many pp already stated, PT will really help her if she needs it! It is really nothing more than playing with the baby in the right ways to help them get strong and age appropriate for developmemtal milestones...and rather that wonder about developmental stuff like most moms do, you will always know exactly how she is doing!
I hope I helped out..I'm pretty beat and probably rambled! Let me know if you have any more questions!!

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Re : PT for Layla - really want input (very long-sorry)

Postby hoya » Thu Nov 25, 637649 2:25 pm

I agree with the other posters that the stiffness is VERY common among preemies. We had some of that too, but honestly you can barely tell anymore -- my DD, who will be one in just two weeks, had very stiff legs and made fists a lot when we first went to the NICU follow-up visit last summer, but since then it's disappeared.

The exercises WILL make a huge difference.

Don't know if you're having this problem or not, but we also had an issue where DD stood on her tippy toes a lot early on. The NICU followup docs recommended we not put her in a doorway jumper or exersaucer because it would help to exacerbate the situation, which was basically that she had very strong calf muscles but her achilles tendons were not stretched out enough. That, too, has disappeared for us now.

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Re : PT for Layla - really want input (very long-sorry)

Postby jenchar » Thu Nov 25, 637649 11:05 am


Yes, from what I was told, preemies can either be too stiff or too floppy. My 27 weeker, Meghan, was too floppy. She has been in PT since she was about 6 months adjusted age. It is working great! I highly recommend it.

Hang in there...this is completely normal for preemies.

I remember feeling like you did. Pretty soon, you'll be helping other preemie moms by answering those questions. [:)]


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Re : PT for Layla - really want input (very long-sorry)

Postby molly419 » Thu Nov 25, 637649 9:30 am


I want you to know that Abigail also was in PT for stiffness, as a 25 weeker, and she still gets PT. As others had stated, it is very common...I have yet come across a preemie that has not had some type of therapy.

Don't look at is at bad sign, but as a blessing. The sooner that Layla recieves therapy, the better off she will be in the future. Unfortunally, Abigail "slipped through the cracks" and didn't start getting PT till she was 9 months. I strongly believe this plays into her delay with walking.

Take advantage to all the PT/OT/Speech programs that are offered. Abigails PT/OT has helped her 110%! Look at them as an avenue for Layla not to get behind and have problems later in life, not the other way around.

All the exercise that you mentioned for Layla are pretty common ones, that will help with her stiffness. I had to do the same ones for Abigail when she was an infant. As an infant Abigail also favored one side of her head, balled her hands, and was stiff on the left side. She also hated tummy time, but its one of the best exercises to do. Is PT coming into your home or are you taking Layla to a center?

If you have questions about PT/OT, feel free to drop me an email.

Best of luck,

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Re : PT for Layla - really want input (very long-sorry)

Postby mama2twins » Thu Nov 25, 637649 9:01 am

Hey Mommyof1,
I am at work right now, but I will try to get back to you today if a patient cancels, or definately tonight when I get home, try not to worry...Layla is still very young, only 1 1/2 months adjusted age and many of the thing you mentioned can be quite normal.
I will try to explain things teh best I can later!!

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Re : PT for Layla - really want input (very long-sorry)

Postby youtan » Thu Nov 25, 637649 12:46 am

Did they suggest infant message? You might look that up in addition to the exercises - as the message stimulates the muscles as well. We did both for awhile when Nathanial was a baby. I used to do the message after Nathanial's bath using baby oil and it relaxed us both.

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Re : PT for Layla - really want input (very long-sorry)

Postby whosures » Wed Nov 24, 637649 7:55 pm

Riley was really stiff too. We had to make this contraption when she slept to keep her from tucking her arms under her head (like she's chilling out). It looked really cute but it was a PT no no. :)

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Re : PT for Layla - really want input (very long-sorry)

Postby jenandtheboys » Wed Nov 24, 637649 6:57 pm

Hi, sorry you are having these concerns, but glad you are already getting some good info. I also contacted MZB, our newest moderator, and asked her to come post here as well, since she is a pediatric PT as well as a mom. I'm sure she'll add great things as well to this discussion.

Keep us posted on how the exercises, etc are working.....hopefully you'll see lots of improvement really soon!

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Re : PT for Layla - really want input (very long-sorry)

Postby mommyof1 » Wed Nov 24, 637649 6:45 pm

Thank you so much. Your post really helped. I guess I just needed to hear that it was very common and the exercises do help.

I worked w/ her this morning. The hardest exercises are the one where I have to moved her head to the left side. She hates it ands she cries and turns so red.

Thank you for all the ideas too. I will definitely try them/

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