Friend bringing premie baby home today(12 Posts)
My friend had a little girl as 26 weeks and 2 days (after losing a child at 9 weeks and also having a stillbirth at 26 weeks)
We're all totally thrilled, but I want to make sure we can support her as much as possible (I'm not a Mum)
Is there anything we should know? Anything we can help with or look out for?
How wonderful, it is a momentous day for her.
I will never forget the day I brought my 26 weeker home. I wish I had saved the thread I posted on here with everyone who had been through the ordeal with me congratulating me.
I would say be exactly the same as you would be if she was bringing home a term baby, excited, thrilled, wanting cuddles and bringing the mum lots of drinks and biscuits!
for your friend. DD is 17 months now and she is wonderful!!
Sorry, posted too soon. Just a few quick thoughts:
Celebrate the amazing milestone that is the homecoming day! Check regularly how she is feeling - the NICU experience stays with people long after they've taken their baby home. Talk with her about it if she wants to. Wash your hands when you arrive, she'll be very conscious of not exposing her baby to germs, but might not feel able to ask.
Congratulations to your friend on her baby and for reaching the wonderful milestone of bringing her home!
Speaking from experience, some ready to go meals are good, as is offering to drop in every so often just for a chat if she wants it - I felt really cut off for the first couple of months as I was too scared to take Babygoat anywhere! Maybe some tiny or early baby sleep suits as these can be tricky to find if you don't know where to look (mothercare have them, and so do next although they are quite wide for prems).
One of the main things I would say is to not be a stranger! When I finally brought my 27 weeker home after 9 weeks in hospital, all our friends thought they were being sensitive and giving us time as a family... When I just wanted to show off my little fighter!!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
A few home cooked meals and/or cake is always welcome.
Be sensitive to requests for comprehensive hand washing!
If she is bf then she still might be struggling to get the hang of 'public' bf, I couldn't imagine how I'd ever go out when I brought my dd2 home, so she might want to feed in front of you or want privacy. Let her talk about the experience. It gets much easier!
Congrats to your friend!
It is exactly the same as bringing any other baby home! Please try and be as normal as you would be with any other baby. Don't be overly anxious as if the baby will break. She'll be relieved to be out of SCBU and finally just be a normal Mum who can celebrate bringing her baby home and starting family life.
I understand what vestandknickers is saying, and agree to an extent, but there are some differences. If born at 26 weeks then her baby is likely to have been ventilated for over 28 days, and have chronic lung disease (possibly very very mild like my son so no one would notice, but still susceptible to infections). I felt very awkward about telling people to wash hands and use hand gel, and not to wear perfumes etc. You don't have to make a deal about it, but just appreciating that she may be very anxious helps. Of course, she may not be... Follow her cue. And second the bf suggestions.
Just treat her like a baby - not some kind of novelty because of the size of her (my daughter wasn't an extreme preemie but I still did hit several points where I considered hanging a sign on the end of the pram saying "yes she was premature, X weeks X lb, no I didn't do anything to cause it, yes she still bloody hurt pushing her out")... accept that she'll be much more cautious than a normal new mum because of issues about things like lungs and don't start launching into grand lectures about how she's being neurotic and stuff (my mum's much beloved of this sort of thing).
Oh and please don't discredit what she's been through with an "Oh but she's HERE now" and expect the whole NICU thing to be filed away never to discuss again - it might well be in the weeks and months to come that your friend needs to offload it all to someone. Again, something my mum never got and told me to just quit dwelling on it all (my mum's a cow basically).
miaow I wanted one of those signs too! An older lady passing by in the supermarket one day just would NOT have it that I knew how old my own child was, even when I explained that she was born extremely early and tiny!
As 10storey says her baby may well have chronic lung disease and people really do need to be careful with washing their hands etc. My dad never would quite believe me on this one and we used to fall out about him washing his hands. The NHS don't fund expensive RSV jabs and oxygen concentrators for preemies for fun, they are more vulnerable! And it is really not fun getting re admitted when you feel like you've only just escaped! And if her little one is on oxygen, as my DD was, she might appreciate a hand on her first little trips out? It can be intimidating when you have a baby and a cylinder to organise and I did find people's curiosity upset me a bit the first couple of outings.
Sadly like your friend and lunatic I lost a baby prior to bringing DD2 home, her twin died in ICU, so it was a real mixture of emotions bringing just one baby home when I had hoped to raise two. Your friend may feel utterly differently of course, it's such a personal thing, but I know I wanted to talk about my little one who had died still and for her not to be entirely 'swept under the carpet' as it were.
Otherwise just what you would do for any friend, it's lovely to have visitors and nice gifts and a celebration after that long, scary slog in hospital. I loved baby clothes and lots of shops do nice prem sizes now. Agree with goat that Next's tiny baby ones seem to be strangely wide though!
You sounds like such a lovely friend OP!
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