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Been advised to prepare for poss premature birth... Any tips?

(169 Posts)
10storeylovesong Wed 16-Jan-13 10:28:52

Hi, I'm currently 24 weeks and due to various issues have been advised that I'm at high risk of going into premature labour. I've been put on bed rest and going for steroid injections tomorrow, but just wondering if there's any advice anyone can give me?

I've bought a few bits for the baby - I have a Moses basket and a starter set with bottles and a steriliser. Not even started with the nursery or anything yet. I'm going to get a hospital bag together but wondering what other essentials I should get just in case?


FairyJen Wed 16-Jan-13 11:30:09

Sorry for your loss ashoe

babamummy Wed 16-Jan-13 11:33:26

If your baby does need to be transferred to another NNU (not all hospitals have intensive care/ high dependency in their unit) then it would be worth finding out if there is a Ronald McDonald house. This is a charity which provides accommodation close to hospital for parents of children who are far away from home.

HDee Wed 16-Jan-13 11:38:00

Agree with ashoe, tbh. Pack your own bag, concentrate on what you will need for a five+ days stay in hospital, and let NICU provide for the baby. My twins were born at 23 weeks and didnt wear clothes for ages, probably about two to three months, as the nurses need easy access to arms, legs and chest.

Have you had a look around NICU so you know what to expect? It's bright, noisy and unsettling at first but you soon learn to ignore everything.

Fingers crossed your baby holds on for at least a few more weeks. Having a very premature baby is hard, but if it happens, you will get through it. Take advantage if your unit offers a counselling service too. I wish I had. I still cant look at hospital pictures, or drive past the hospital without feeling sick.

HDee Wed 16-Jan-13 11:39:55

The good news is that at 24 weeks, the hospital my twins were in (Portsmouth) said they had a 70% survival rate, and that rises daily.

If you'd like to read the blog I kept while my twins were young, here is the link

TaffyandTeenyTaffy Wed 16-Jan-13 11:41:30

I would say get a drawer/box together at home and put things in it that you might need brought into hospital eg knickers/nightwear/comfy clothing/toiletries/books etc. And maybe have a couple of bags packed.

I was in and out a lot at short notice before DS was born and this was really useful in telling hubby to look in just one place rather than him hunting out things from all over the place (he was pretty stressed too!) I had a bag in the car for about 5 weeks before and one at home all ready to go.

Freezer full of ready meals and lots of quick snacks to ensure that DH ate when he got in from the hospital after a day in work.

For baby - clothing wise the hospital had loads of lovely stuff and so there was no pressure to get anything in a hurry - in the early days in SCBU DS only had a nappy, which they provided. Family and friends will be only too glad to do a supermarket/mothercare run when baby arrives as they feel very helpless.

Second the advice of having a tour of the unit and meeting the staff. I was given a tour the day DS was born but it had really not sunk in that he was going to be going there straight away at birth, but I was glad to have done this.

Good luck - hope baby stays put a little longer for you xx

fuzzyllamafunnyllama Wed 16-Jan-13 11:49:06

get every bit of info you need and go and visit the scbu if at all possible. find of exactly what the deal is and ask every question that pops in to your head - write a list and go to see your mw.
I had same at 26 wks and they told me to be prepared to have ds2 at 28wks, had steroid injections for his lungs and weeks of bed rest. I got my head very mushed over it...try not to do the same.
fwiw he's a very fit and healthy 9yo now and was born only a couple of weeks early weighing 7lb.

Doraemon Wed 16-Jan-13 11:49:15

Hoping your little one stays in as long as possible.
DS1 was born unexpectedly at 32 weeks - my BIL (lives overseas) sent us a big supermarket delivery with lots of really quick easy meals (fresh pasta and sauce, quality ready meals etc) which was an absolute godsend, as I was discharged the day after my son was born and had to go to and fro from the hospital every day. Perhaps you could ask a friend or family member to be ready to do something similar for you?
I found knitting in SCBU a good way to pass the time and also helped me feel I was at least doing something for my baby while sitting by the incubator, so a crocheted blanket might be a good project to start.
A notebook and pen were really useful, I was keeping a diary anyway but it also meant I could keep a note of what routine DS1 was on (every time I felt like I'd got my head round what time feeding/nappies/expressing etc happened it would change....). It also helps to write down any questions you have for the doctors.
If you are planning on breastfeeding then I would suggest contacting an NCT or La Leche counsellor now, and explaining the situation then if you need extra support when the baby arrives you will already have a contact in place, and they would be able to advise about breastpumps etc.
I really liked this book, partly because it explained things clearly but mainly because it has such lovely pictures of tiny prem babies, with wires and tubes and everything, but still looking like beautiful, much loved babies, I remember finding that a big comfort.
good luck to you all

Peanutbutterfingers Wed 16-Jan-13 13:09:37

Your local nct may have a tiny baby clothes pack they can 'rent' you, they hardly get worn so a good way to do it x

10storeylovesong Wed 16-Jan-13 13:28:05

Thank you so much for all the replies and really useful advice. I've got a midwife apt booked for the day before my next scan so going to get any questions written down beforehand. I'm aware that this is all a precaution and it may not happen, but its good to be prepared.

ashoe so sorry to hear about your loss. I know that the odds aren't fantastic at the minute and the doctor who discharged me at 22 weeks after I'd spent a night in the labour ward kindly announced in front of a ward full of new mums and their baby's "of course there's a good chance baby will die" so I know all the risks. I spent 2 weeks feeling sorry for myself then figured that's not going to help anyone. Now that I'm 24 weeks I feel that the hospital are taking it more seriously and are prepared to fight to help me and baby.

What will happen will happen right??

FairyJen Wed 16-Jan-13 13:30:58

Absolutely 10 keep positive and relaxed would be best thing you can do. If you would like the vests, just in case pm me and will pop them in post.

10storeylovesong Wed 16-Jan-13 13:33:41

Oh and thanks as well for the good stories about babies doing well now - it really really helps to hear them.

ashiramartin Wed 16-Jan-13 13:52:10

I think that ashoething has given very sensible advice Just take care of yourself at this stage and make sure baby stays in as long as possible. My dd was born at 29 weeks and she wore no cloths except nappies which hospital provided for another four weeks. Mothercare has a lovely prem range which I hope you will not need. Good luck!

lotsofcheese Wed 16-Jan-13 14:46:55

10storey - just to wish you good luck & hope bubba can stay in as long as possible - every day counts at this stage.

I had a very premature baby, at 29 weeks, but he measured 24/5 weeks size-wise.

Personally, I would have found it upsetting to have baby stuff in the house while he was in hospital. Unfortunately, people who meant well, bought baby clothes for him & I was distraught as my baby was so small & the clothes seemed so large. You may not feel this way. But it might be an idea asking people to hold off with gifts.

I second the idea of a nice soft blanket for cuddles in scbu. Or a small incubator toy if your unit allows it.

I would also recommend a good, electric breast pump, as you will be required to express 3-4 hourly - and perhaps a change bag to carry it round in.

Our NICU provided nappies, cotton wool etc & babies only started to wear clothes at 4lb weight. Mothercare were good for prem clothes.

Crossing everything for you!

ExpatAl Wed 16-Jan-13 14:47:28

The thing I really regretted was not having a littly snuggly thing in with my ds. He had nothing of his own - just hospital equipment.
The very best of luck 10storetylovesong. This must be a very frightening time for you and your dh. Lots of us here can understand. Please do keep us updated. x

Emsyboo Wed 16-Jan-13 14:54:23

Big hugs all I can say is do what they tell you I was put on bed rest at 25 weeks they didn't think my baby would stay to 30 weeks but is now nearly at 32 weeks and I am home.
Obviously everyone is different and the above advice is great as in prem nappies and clothes and lots for you.
My advice would be stay calm keep your mind busy so you don't stress prepare for baby but stay positive smile
Good luck x x x

SummerRainIsADistantMemory Wed 16-Jan-13 15:46:19

I agree about clothes, ds2 was dull time but in an incubator foe oxygen and under err lights so only wore clothes the first time the day he came home. A snuggly blanket to keep him warm once they let you hold him will be enough.

Also, brace yourself for the medicalised nature of it all. At one point ds2 had tubes in every limb and a tube in his nose.... And that was both icing compared to the preemie babies in the unit. It is terrifying at first but you adjust very quickly.

SummerRainIsADistantMemory Wed 16-Jan-13 15:47:08

Dull time = full term

GingersarealwaysToms Wed 16-Jan-13 16:02:45

OP I see what Ash is trying to do. Doesn't mean to sound harsh but is trying to say to you that the most important thing is that you keep your baby. I know everyone is being very helpful about practical stuff but in fact the hospital will give you everything you need, if they have to.

Try relaxation/visualisation. Hold your baby (from the outside, obviously) and tell him that you're going to keep him inside of you for as long as possible. Keep repeating to yourself that you are the best incubator there is. Keep seeing yourself getting to many weeks further on, and having a live, healthy baby. Please let us know how you get on.

Material stuff is not important. Getting much further on your preg is. Don't mean to piss off anyone giving helpful advice.

10storeylovesong Wed 16-Jan-13 16:10:33

Hi, I knew what they were getting at and I appreciate both the positive and negative experiences. I wasn't being sarcastic or anything when I replied - sorry it came across like that. I wrote on here because I know people have a wide range of experiences. I just can't focus on the bad things iyswim, although obviously I know they're very possible.

homeaway Wed 16-Jan-13 16:21:19

I hope that your baby hangs on in the warm for some more weeks, as others have said make sure you have a bag packed for yourself. Take each day at a time . If you are planning on breastfeeding ask the midwife if the hospital rents out pumps as the hospital ones are much better than the ones you buy in boots etc.

KindleMum Wed 16-Jan-13 16:21:38

With DS, I had my first threatened miscarriage at 13 weeks. 8 bleeds and 8 hospital admissions later, he was born at 35 weeks, absolutely perfect. I'd been at high risk of miscarriage/prem delivery from 20-35 weeks and had a bag packed from then. I didn't do much other than pack the bags - one for me, which got used and restocked each time I got admitted and a separate one for baby which only got used at the end. I'd say pack a bag for you which is ready in case you're admitted for monitoring or to stop labour, don't assume you'll only be admitted for delivery. If you're admitted for monitoring, you're both scared and bored and need stuff to distract! Usual things - clothes, books, toiletries, note pad and pens are vital. Disposable wash cloths like Olay etc do are very useful. And make sure OH knows where you keep things you may need him to bring in - in my case that meant contact lenses and spare glasses.
Mothercare do lots of prem clothes - one option is to fill a shopping basket on there or similar and just leave it there so if you do have a prem delivery, DH just has to go into that and do a checkout. The hospital will have what you need until then. And DS was bigger at 35 weeks than some full term so they're not always small.
But ultimately, do what helps calm you down - if that means having a bag full of prem clothes, then do that. But think positive. DS was expected to be stillborn and he was born healthy and perfect and breathing on his own.

SophieBirkBirk Wed 16-Jan-13 16:59:23

I had a baby at 23 weeks (weak cervix& placental infection) I didn't get help due to being under 24 weeks so he was born sleeping. Have a high chance of it happening again!

Best thing to do is relax, you're having steroids which will help smile. There is a topic on mumsnet for prem babies which may help. Get someone to knit a 'baby doll' cardy fitted my baby boy perfectly!

I know that they sell small nappies online for prem babies, best of luck! X

bonzo77 Wed 16-Jan-13 17:13:44

Get a tour of the NiCU. It all looks quite scary the first time you see it, but you'll feel more comfortable with what's happening if you are prepared.

Google the charity Bliss. They have loads of advice about having a prem baby.

Get a bag packed for you with a spare phone charger, change, books etc. babies on NiCU don't really wear clothes.

Pampers micro / size 0 nappies are much softer than the boots own brand.

10storeylovesong Wed 16-Jan-13 17:23:46

sophie so sorry to hear your sad news. Are you pregnant again now?

I've just had a look for the mums net topic and lots of useful info on there so thanks for the pointer. And googling bliss now - remember seeing it on a poster and meaning to have a look but you've just reminded me.

Mama1980 Wed 16-Jan-13 17:33:54

Have sent you a pm. I had my ds 4 weeks ago at 24 weeks, and he is doing great. Have my fingers crossed for you x

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