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How do I prepare for a premmie

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#1 MissButtercup

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:09 PM

Hi all,
Looks like we're in for be a premmie as bub is small due to poor cord flow/functioning so I am being very heavily monitored. I am 32 +4 at the moment and best case bub will be born at 36wks.
So does anyone have any experience with prem babies? How should I prepare myself, DH & DD's?

#2 ozbilby

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:27 PM

My biggest piece of advice is take a look at pictures of prems, it can be a shock if you have never seen one.

My youngest was born at 33 weeks exactly, she weighed 1.9kgs. . She was on CPAP for a few days to help her breathe and in a humicrib for two weeks. All up she spent nine weeks in the neonatal unit. The biggest thing with prems this age is temperature control and feeding, most babies do not get a suck reflex until 36 weeks.

Check out this site http://www.lilaussieprems.com.au/ for lots of support and help. They also have pics of diffferent babies at different gestation's.

#3 Handsfull

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:41 PM

Hi I'm a prem mum from when my girls were born at 27 weeks and I was in hospital for a while leading up to their birth.  Thinking back here are the things I would do to get yourselves as prepared as possible.  It really depends on how long your bub might be in for and the condition they are in when they are born.  If there are issues than they maybe in for a while.  Hopefully not and possibly better out than in if the cord flow is not functioning properly.  

Get your bag packed and organised with all that you need.  DONT leave anything to your DH/Partner as they will probably get the wrong nightie/underwear wrong!  Mine definitely did....lol!

Get all baby clothes etc washed and organised now by size.  Pack your baby bag.  

Get baby room organised and ready to receive its new arrival.  It will also give you a goal target as well.  

Get meals made and in the freezer but broken down into individual portions.  If you are on bedrest/hospital then maybe call in some favours or worst case order Lite n Easy for your DH.  Basically nutritious but also handy to have in the freezer.

Investigate options of house cleaning etc just in case you are unable to do so for a few weeks after the birth.

Organise family/friends of DDs to dropoff/pickup if DDs are at school.  Maybe write out tuckshop bags if you have to!  LOL!  Get all their stuff as up to date as possible.  Don't konw their ages so not sure what as in that regards.

If your bub is in hospital for a while be prepared to travel every day there and back and try to streamline your at home affairs.  

If you have an animal maybe have a friend/family on standby to call in and feed them etc in case you are late home at night.

Be prepared to understand that they might not be able to go straight to breast and might have to be bottle feed, if not tube feed in the beginning.  You might have to express milk and it might take a few days to come in so explore the options.  Personally I have always found electric breast pumps far better than manual as you get a sore hand and hard to latch sometimes.  

Most importantly of all, eat well and rest as much as you can.  Even when the baby is here eat well to bring in your milk supply esp if you have to express.  Drink lots of water and get rest when you can.  If they are in hospital for a little while get sleep at night knowing they are being cared for expertly and your baby is in the right place to grow stronger.  

Have you done a tour of the NICU/Special Care Nursery of where you will be delivering?  It can be daunting but at least you will not be confronted at once with it.  With regards to your DDs I would possibly use a doll and say baby might be this big and might have to be in hospital until baby gets bigger to come home.  

Most of all take it each day as it comes AND breathe.  Remember to always breathe......

Hang in there and hope you get as far as possible in your pregnancy.  

#4 FEdeRAL

Posted 14 November 2012 - 02:43 PM

How old is your DD? If she is not in school yet you will need to arrange for someone to look after her while you visit your baby in the hospital. Siblings are allowed but they get bored easily in there and if you are planning to breastfeed you will be in the nursery for hours each day.

You can also ask for a tour to the NICU/SCN of your hospital - to familiarise yourself with it's layout etc.

You will most likely need to express breastmilk in the first few weeks so start looking into breast pumps etc if you don't already have it. They are available for rent from many SCNs so make sure you ask when doing the tour.

Check out EB's preemie forum http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/forums/ind...hp?showforum=78

Good luck!

#5 MissButtercup

Posted 14 November 2012 - 03:33 PM

Great advise thanks! DD#1 is 6yo and DD#2 is 3yo. DD#1 understands that bub will be small which might mean mum and bub have to be away (500+km) in a capital city. She's not to sure about it but she knows Nanny will take care of her with DH's help.

We have friends on stand by to help with the girls as well.

Edited by MissButtercup, 14 November 2012 - 03:42 PM.

#6 Handsfull

Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:18 PM

OP - I too was a long way away from family = other side of the world.  At one point I had both babies in two diff hospital in another city from where we were living.

Pays to be organised and so glad you have family and friends to help out.

GL and hope bub stays put and cord flows well.

#7 MissButtercup

Posted 14 November 2012 - 04:59 PM

Thank you! Not sure I am prepared but we'll take it one day at a time.

#8 B.feral3

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:08 PM

I knew I was having a prem all pregnancy. At 14 weeks they said they may need to deliver before a safe gestation. At 22 weeks they said I might make 30 as a best case scenario. I got to 32 which was beyond any best case scenario!! My fingers are crossed for you that you go longer than your given 36 weeks.

I was sent to Brisbane to have my baby at 29 weeks and we live a 10 hour drive away. DS2 came with me and stayed with my family while I was in hospital. DS1 we booked into morning and afternoon school care. When he finished school mid December he flew down to Brisbane as an unaccompanied minor and also stayed with my family. DH stayed at home to work and as a result he ended up missing the birth.  

That's really the only planning we had to do. I didn't buy prem clothes or anything. The hospital perfer you don't and use theirs instead. I did forget to bring my breastpump with me which was a nuisance so I had to hand express for the 5 weeks DS was in hospital but we were not at the hospital IYKWIM.

Other than that there was no planning apart from play it by ear.

Good luck OP.  original.gif

#9 Elemenopee

Posted 14 November 2012 - 05:40 PM

I wish I had kept a journal for our 97 days in NICU/SCBU, so maybe a nice journal and pens? Also wish I had taken 10x more photos, so remember to take a lot.
I feel for you, I was 200kms from home and my 2 and 4 yr old. When they did come, the hospital had a creche which they loved.
Maybe set money aside from parking, at my hospital (SA) you could buy a weekly card which worked out cheaper. Oh and don't buy too smaller sizes, I bought the most beautiul 00000 outfits which never fitted, my twin 1 (1.5kgs born) was a big chubber by the time it was time to go home and didn't fit it.

#10 MissButtercup

Posted 15 November 2012 - 10:19 AM

Thank you everyone. I went and checked out the SCN this morning and asked about breast pumps etc.. I have a hand/manual one but the hospital has electric on hand for during the stay. There are also places in town I can hire one from.

I am feeling alot better about everything now, was very teary for the last two days but have come to terms with whats a head. Just need to get through tomorrows Uni exam now, so back to the study (which just quietly is a nice distraction at the moment).

Edited by MissButtercup, 15 November 2012 - 12:55 PM.

#11 FeralMuddyPuddles

Posted 15 November 2012 - 01:46 PM

Hi OP, I hope you are doing ok. My DS was born at 35 weeks and was in the SCN. I found that they provided everything so it was only really when he came home that I had to have some smaller clothes, but my mum sourced some 00000 and 000000's for me. Having a electric breastpump was a major help, especially as I was discharged prior to DS so was pumping overnight at home so that they could give him breastmilk through the NG tube.

Just be prepared for them being small and frail looking, and maybe not being able to touch them as much as you would like. But lots of hospitals encourage kangaroo care( skin to skin contact) and this would be something that I would insist upon again if bub wasnt too frail.  

Also as PPs have suggested having pre-made frozen meals at home so that you dont have to stress about that.

We struggled with feeding as DS was too tired and sleepy to feed much and then was so little that getting a good latch was hard, so utilise the consultants at the hospital and dont hesitate to call if you have problems when you leave. I struggled when we left hospital and wish I had called for help sooner as it made SUCH a difference and stopped me crying. Getting a prem to feed is different to a term baby.

Good luck OP, I hope you guys can hang in there as long as possible!

#12 Koobie83

Posted 15 November 2012 - 04:11 PM

My sister was born at 34 weeks.. she was kept in for a few days but was otherwise fine. She had trouble feeding though which may have been a separate issue to her premature birth.

She's a double degree Vet now so I wouldn't believe what they say in that premmie babies won't have the same intellectual abilities as babies born on time!

Good luck! I hope everything goes well for you and your family.

#13 MissButtercup

Posted 15 November 2012 - 07:36 PM

Thanks everyone for your well wishes and support. Bub seems happy for now (from CTG monitoring) which I am hoping means everything else will look good on the ultrasound tomorrow (cord flow and growth) and longer until delivery date.

Still haven't really worked out the logistics of have to be away, DH needing to work, one school aged child and one 3yo so praying we can last until at least next saturday... otherwise thank goodness for my mum is all I can say at the moment!

#14 Protea

Posted 19 November 2012 - 11:47 AM

Many PP have mentioned that their hospitals provided everything for their prem, but I would ask your hospital what they provide as my hospital didn't. I had to send someone out to find 00000 clothes (which were still too big). The hospital suggested that my DD was dressed in a singlet, jumpsuit and a cardigan at all times as she wasn't able to regulate her temp. They also liked the babies to have a special blanket of their own but this wasn't necessary, a nice touch though. They supplied cloth nappies for her stay but unfortunately DD was too small (2.2kg) and the nappies were swimming on her so they suggested that we bring our own disposable nappies in.

One thing that I would like to find out for next time (just in case #2 is a prem) is whether it would be beneficial to start pumping before the birth. The hospital kept stressing how important it was for prem babies to have breast milk and I had to pump a lot to keep up with the demand in the early days. This might be a question for your OB.

Good luck MissButtercup

#15 MissButtercup

Posted 19 November 2012 - 12:07 PM

Thanks, great advise. I need to start writing a list for my OB.

I've bought a a few OOOOO and some 'tiny baby' from target and pumpkin patch. I like the idea of a special blanket too. DD#2 has one and it still goes to bed with her every night original.gif

#16 MissButtercup

Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:44 AM

Could this pls be moved to the Babies born early section?

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