| Sibling rivalry starts young From Spotlight on Health - Winter 2011
Being a first-time parent is everything Alissa Bandel, 23, of Brainerd thought it would be. It was the journey to get there that had a few more bumps than expected.
Carrying twin girls made her twice as sick and twice as tired. There also was concern that one baby was hogging the blood supply in an illness known as twin-to-twin transfusion. It turned out that the umbilical cord in one of the girls, Isabella, was poorly attached to the placenta, causing inadequate blood flow.
To give Alissa and her babies the best possible outcome, Alissa’s doctor referred her to the St. Cloud Hospital Center for Advanced Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Care. There, perinatologist, Thomas McNanley, MD, helped to coordinate her care.
“When twins share a placenta, sibling rivalry can begin early in the womb,” Dr. McNanley said. “With Isabella getting fewer nutrients, careful follow-up was needed. We balanced the risk of having her stay inside mom, versus the risk of being born too early.”
“Our goal was to keep mom and babies close to home as much as possible. We did this by coordinating care with her obstetrician, Dr. Rice, in Brainerd. When it came time for delivery, Isabella was very small, and the decision was made to deliver in St. Cloud. The happy ending took a team approach, including obstetrician, David Kroska, the labor and delivery staff, and the neonatologists and staff of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,” McNanley said.
Alexis and Isabella were born at 35 weeks gestation Oct. 4 at St. Cloud Hospital. Alexis was the heavyweight at 4 pounds, 12 ounces; Isabella weighed just 3 pounds, 2 ounces. Isabella stayed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for three weeks under the supervision of neonatologists and nurse practitioners.
“Being cared for in St. Cloud instead of the Twin Cities made travel much easier,” Alissa said. “Dr. McNanley was awesome. He always made sure we knew what was going on with the girls.”
Learn more about the Center for Advanced Maternal, Fetal & Newborn Care