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Planning for a hospital stay after baby is born(22 Posts)
I am 29 weeks pregnant and our baby has recently been diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta. It means he will need an operation about 4 days after he is born and then stay in hospital for a few weeks after to recover. This means we will be in hospital for around 3 weeks.
I am not sure where to start with packing and just generally planning for 3 weeks in hospital. I have never stayed in hospital myself nevermind staying in hospital with a new born.
Does anyone have any advice or tips?
I don't have much advice to give as I've not been in your situation but just wanted to offer some and I hope that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
For me, hospitals are always roasting, so plenty of light clothing and the means to get plenty of fluid so that might be a bottle of squash and or money for the shop in addition to the water that the hospital will give you.
Oh and flip Flops for the shower as I hate the thought of being bare foot in those showers.
We had a week long stay after my son was born. I packed iPad and books etc to keep busy. Plenty of snacks as the hospital shops were expensive. Our nicu liked us to pack nappies wipes etc do worth checking with your local hospital.
Thank you! The flip flops are a great idea for just wondering around the hospital as well.
Did you have much down time to read the books or were you quite busy with your son?
We had a fair bit of downtime. Apart from feeding and changing nappies our son slept most of the time we were there and he was occasionally taken away for tests.
I just took easy reading and some gossip mags that were easy to dip in and out of.
Maybe ask how they expect your son to be after his op. Ours recently had one but older and we knew he would be pretty dosed up afterwards for a while afterwards so really we could only sit by him and talk to him.
DS was on neonatal for a week and I agree take some books or something to keep you occupied, the hours are loooooong in hospital and in all honesty I couldn't just sit looking at my poorly baby 24 hours a day.
Flip flops, light clothing, some really nice shower gel and a proper fluffy towel. I don't know where you'll be housed as it were but if you can find out that's useful - private room or ward? Space is an issue so the easiest thing is to swap stuff in and out. I sent most visitors away with a bag of washing and requests for anything specific got given to DH as he was obviously in every day.
Carrier bags and a coat hanger. I was in for a while after DS was born prematurely. There was nowhere to hang things in the shower room and the floor was soaking wet. I ended up hanging the hanger on the door hinge and had a couple of carrier bags attached to the hanger, one for dirty stuff one for clean stuff, stopped everything from getting soaked. Best of luck OP
I was in hospital for two weeks after Ds was born. I'd aim for about 4/5 days of clothes assuming people will be popping into visit and can do laundry for you. I sent my mum home with bags of laundry!
I'm not sure if you plan to breastfeed or not (or if it will be possible for you) so apologies if this isn't relevant but if you do plan to breastfeed when packing clothes and nighties I'd try and make them as accessible as possible. Perhaps get some nursing vests and then shove a cardy on.
Squash was good, water gets boring quite quickly. You might also want a plastic pint glass or bottle to fill up, the stupid little cups they give you annoyed me and mean you don't drink enough!
I found magazines good because you can dip in and out of them and you don't need to concentrate in the same way as you do for a book.
iPad is good for a bit of light relief or if you can't sleep. Don't forget headphones. I also downloaded podcasts and talking books as they help if it's noisy and you're trying to sleep.
A couple of pairs of flip flops is useful, one for the shower and one for general wandering about. Hospital towels are rubbish so I'd take your own (a dark coloured one if poss).
I'd also pack some snacks, the food regime is quite regimented and sometimes you just fancy a Kitkat!
Best of luck OP, I hope your baby's surgery goes well.
Pack as if you're going somewhere hot & humid! Cool skirts, vest tops, light cardis etc. Hospitals are hot, scbu/nicu's are boiling. It might be worth putting all the bits you'll need in a draw & just packing enough in your hospital bag for 3 or 4 days. Send someone home with your washing & tell them which draw to get bits from.
I will be on a ward whilst he is in icu and being monitored before and after his op. Once he is well enough we will be in a baby and mum room. So yes need to be careful how much I take cause I'll be moving round the hospital quite a bit. I plan to breast feed and express when he is not able to breast feed. I'm just glad I will have the support of the nurses for breast feeding.
Thank you for all your suggestions. Think I need to make a list and start buying things, I just have so many things to get that i hadn't even thought of!!
How far away from the hospital do you live? Is it possible just to pack for a 4-5 day period and have someone bring stuff in every so often?
We had an unexpected 9 day stay on SCBU when my son was born and my husband just brought me things every few days. Also, I went home a couple of times - it gets very cabin feverish in the hospital. If you're close enough to home I would recommend this.
Books and magazines. Kindle is good if you have one. Load music onto your phone or get something like an Ipod shuffle (are they still being sold?) so that if/when baby is asleep or away from you, and you're awake, possibly in the middle of the night, you can listen to something. I've always found my sleep pattern gets really disrupted in hospital and you can end up wide awake at 4am and in need of something to entertain you that won't wake everyone else. If you can get a Netflix subscription that will work on your phone or tablet I would consider it.
Joggers and t-shirts type clothing. Slippers you will throw away when you leave hospital.
Cereal bars and Snickers type snacks for the drawer. I was ravenous when breastfeeding and hospital food didn't touch the sides.
Headphones. And the all important chargers for your devices!
We are only about 20 minutes from the hospital and it is a city centre hospital so thankfully I can nip out if I need anything or just need a break. My husband only works 5 minutes from the hospital luckily so he will be able to bring stuff for me. Think I will just need to get the stuff organised or it is likely he will bring me the wrong stuff. I had considered coming home every now and again just for a break but don't know if i would feel guilty leaving him for a few hours?
I hadn't thought about headphones so thanks! We have an iPad so think I will download a few series from there. I can see my sleep being very disturbed especially being away from my other half.
Slippers and flip flops are a great suggestion especially as it is going to be a bit warmer in 9 weeks so I presume the hospital might be quite warm?
Postnatal is like an oven, scbu was the same. I can't imagine icu being any different so I'd pack layers, thin joggers/leggings, vests (H&M and Jojo do nursing ones that you can unclip like nursing bras).
Ds wouldn't/couldn't breastfeed at first as he was quite poorly and the hospital gave me a double pump which was great. We did manage to get him onto the breast eventually but it took some perseverance! He's still breastfeeding now though at 10.5 months.
You can get quite institutionalised being in hospital that long so you might want to take the occasional break (and grab some different food) perhaps when DH is there to stay with DS.
You sound wonderfully positive and practical. Fabulous qualities in a mum!!
My suggestions would be ear plugs and an eye mask to help you get some sleep when it is busy.
Very best of luck. Hope all goes well
Once you are in a private room get someone to bring nice loo roll in, hospital stuff is awful! Definitely squash to go in your water, you need to be drinking loads in the early days.
Lots of yummy snacks, hospital food is very variable. I had some lovely meals, and some others that were terrible! I would initially pack just for the first few days, and then get your oh to bring you things on a daily basis (write lists and add to them as you think of things)
Wishing your little one a speedy recovery xxx
I am just over a month ahead of you in a similar situation. As well as what has been listed was going to take breast pads and enough maternity pads to last a week. Clothing was mainly going for leggings and light shirts to save on packing. Been recommended to sleep with soft toy and muslin for a bit to give to the baby so it smells of me. Charger and something to take photos with. We have a special antenatal classes next wk so will let you know if they recommend anything else x
Second the flip flops (was in last week and this was a great mumsnet recommendation). I would also take some painkillers -- it was really hard to get them at regular times on my ward, and felt pretty silly lying there in agony after my section waiting an extra 90 mins (especially when baby was asleep) for some paracetamol and ibuprofen I could have brought from home!
Also would be nice to have some Berocca, I think, to give you some postnatal vitamins and make an easy/ refreshing fizzy drink with tap water. And maybe some glycerin suppositories to help with the evil first bowel movement...
Berocca says not to take if breastfeeding, just something to bear in mind
Hospitals are like furnaces, it was really unbearable at times. Bring very light clothing! I second flip flops too and love the plastic bag and hangar idea for the wet shower rooms. I had dreadful, super painful trapped wind after my c section and found rennie deflacan (sp) worked wonders. Congratulations on your baby!
Everything says not to take it when pregnant breastfeeding, but honestly Berocca is fine! It's just a vitamin drink with high concentrations. My consultant actually recommended to me along with iron pills (vitamin C helps absorption) for when I got home (I had a post-partum hemorrhage and transfusion so very low hemoglobin).
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