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I'm helping a friend who is having a difficult pregnancy and without going into details (because it's not my story IYSWIM) she's been told to expect they'll bring the baby out at any time between now (26 weeks) and 36 weeks. Baby is having heart problems and is highly likely to need surgery early on in her life although her docs have said they can't decide a course of action till the baby is actually out.
Doc told her to get her hospital bag/shopping done now! My DS is 7 so it's been a while - can anyone please help me add to my list of things she may need?
Baby gro's, hats, gloves in tiny newborn and newborn sizes Nappies - again, tiny size and newborn size and wipes Breast pump and bags to freeze milk (she really wants to BF but I'm assuming if the baby comes very early it will be a case of bottle feeding her breastmilk? and if so will the hospital provide bottles or should she get some?) Clothes, magazines, snacks and drinks, ipod for mum. Pads, cheap throwaway pants and breast pads for mum. Nursing bra. Notepad and pen - I imagine they'll have a lot of information to absorb
There are special preemie babygros, the name if which escapes me, that have poppers on the arms and open at the front. They might be a good thing to recommend, although if baby is in surgery/SCBU they may not be wearing clothes as too many wires everywhere.
Hospital will initially have a pump. She will need a damn good one to stimulate production so an electric double at a minimum, if she can hire a hospital grade one so much the better.
Clothes that all go together for mother so she can just grab a top and a bottom without worrying they don't match. Little things like that really help.
Mini sizes of nice toiletries really make a difference
My twins were tiny. They wore the clothes provided by the SCBU at first and then some dolls clothes and tiny baby sizes.
I breastfed mine. I borrowed a pump from the hospital and used to decant into sterile water jars provided by the hospital. Used to freeze these and take them down to the hospital in a cool box every day to leave in the freezer for the staff to tube feed them with (if baby is small, they'll probably tube feed for few weeks), eventually progressing to boob and bottle.
It depends how early the baby comes. She will be encouraged to express and the baby will be fed with an ng tube before about 34 weeks. We went from ng tube to being bf once she was 34.5 weeks. Took a while to get the hang of bf but the nurses were amazing.
My dd2 was born at 33 weeks. She was in an incubator for a week then once she was moved to a heated cot the hospital lent us tiny clothes. I was told to expect dd from 28 onwards but didn't get clothes till she needed them.
Bliss have lots of advice on what to expect. Also she might be offered tour of the neo natal unit before the baby comes. I did that the night before dd arrived and although it was very emotional, it helped once dd was born and I knew how she would look, machines, drips etc.
The bliss site is brilliant, thank you Hons and thanks everyone else for advice. I think she's finding it really hard to prepare (mentally and practically) for a delivery that is 'sometime in the next 10 weeks' as of course a 36wk baby will be very different from a 26wk one.
Wouldn't go nuts buying tonnes of clothes until you know what point she actually delivers at - the size difference between 26 and 36 weeks is massive (for what it's worth as a late 33 weeker DD1 was a bit snug in early baby clothes and in tiny baby ones, with newborn being like mahoosive on her - but I gather she was big for her gestation... ain't flipping stopped with THAT one yet!).
Mothercare DO do the specialist prem babygros - but again, I'd hang fire until she knows more about when the arrival will be - might not need them if she goes nearer 36 weeks than 26. The hospital will have clothes to borrow short term, very short term while in an incubator it'll be just a nappy anyway - I actually found escaping to buy a few outfits (the one time I got out of the hospital) quite empowering after everyone else having had the chance to get out and buy teeny tiny stuff - putting her in something WE chose mattered a lot.
I'd focus more on getting stuff sorted for mum - can I suggest some decent hand cream to add to the list? The constant gels and handwashing (and stress-related eczema in my case) really hammered the living daylights out of my hands and I know I'm not the only person to have said that.