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Thread: friend with premature baby

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default friend with premature baby

    Hi LLLadies,

    My friend went into premature labor on Saturday at 29 weeks and then the baby was born by emergency c-section. He is 2 lb, 3 oz and is doing well, I guess.

    I know he will be in the hospital for a couple of months. My heart is breaking for them that they are going to have to leave the hospital and leave him there. I know they will be spending most of their time at the hospital over the next few months.

    My question is - how do I help them? What do they need? We have already started cooking and freezing dinners for them. Would they be able to use pumped milk if I gave it to them? Lilah is 17 months, so I'm not sure if my milk would be any good for a premature baby? Hopefully they will be able to get the milk they need from milk banks, would it be weird of me to offer?
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  2. #2
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: friend with premature baby

    I don't think it would be weird to offer. Did she know you were still nursing before the baby came????

  3. #3
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    Default Re: friend with premature baby

    Is she not able to pump herself? It is a very awesome gesture to offer, but the thing about preemie babies and preemie mamas is that she is making things for her baby that he specifically needs right now. All of those things that he was not able to manufacture in the womb, she will make more for him to make up the difference. It might come more in handy after they are home with baby, in case there are any shortages later on.

    What I wished for when Nolan was born was just for people to be "there." To listen to me if I needed to talk or cry. They told us not to be surprised if our friends fell away because people don't know how to deal with it or what to say. We were like "no way! not our friends" and absolutely yes....our friends. Cooking meals is wonderful, maybe helping around the house for her/them, and just being there....trust me. It will mean more than you will know.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: friend with premature baby

    I don't know how pumping is going yet, I'll ask when I talk to her husband. That's what I thought about the milk... but I thought if it is a choice between formula and other milk, maybe the milk would be better? I don't know.

    I don't really know what to say other than that we will help in any way they need. My husband does most of our cooking on the weekends and already plans on doubling a lot of food to freeze for them. I plan on doing that at least until the baby is home from the hospital, if not longer.

    We can definitely be a shoulder to cry on/listen... and I was thinking of asking them if they need me to do dishes/laundry/clean bathrooms, whatever. I know that when someone says they can help out in "any" way, sometimes you don't know what to say.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
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    Default Re: friend with premature baby

    Well and for a long while, he won't be able to eat much at all. When Nolie left the hospital I had a huge garbage bag full of frozen milk to take home because by the time he went home he was barely eating almost 2 oz. You are super sweet to offer and be thinking of your friend mama. Just be ready for lots of tears.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    1,255

    Default Re: friend with premature baby

    If they have any pets, you may offer to help take care of them so they can focus on the baby and being at the hospital a lot.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Default Re: friend with premature baby

    One of the things that would have helped us hugely is time. We have an older son, and we had to work around the day care schedule to go see the new baby, which meant I never did meet the night staff that cared for him (and they did all his baths at night). Even if they don't have older children, try to give them time so they can go to the hospital. If there is something keeping them from going, try to offer to help with it.

    Another thing that was difficult was meals and gas. If we were at the hospital over mealtime, we would have to go out to eat since it was 40 minutes away from home. Either help them make meals they can take with them to have a picnic lunch, or give them gift cards to local restaurants to eat. Also, try making a directory of places close to the hospital, so they know what is available/how much/and how far. Nothing was more frustrating than deciding to go get a "quick bite" and then driving 20 minutes to get there because we didn't know how far it was. Likewise, if the hospital where her son is staying is any distance from their house, gas can become a bigger issue than it was before, especially heading into summer. See if you can organize getting gas cards for her or something.

    I would say absolutely offer your milk if she isn't making enough right now. I bet they have a mandated feeding schedule/amount, and what she doesn't make they are giving formula. Better your milk than formula until she gets her supply up.

    Finally, give her advice and support on pumping. Suggest she ask her insurance company about renting a hospital grade pump for her premature baby. If you know what insurance she has, try and call them for her so you can give her the information of how to do it directly. Then, encourage her to pump every 2-3 hours. I say this often because, for me, the beginning was the time I had the most motivation to do it. Even if she makes more than he needs to take, that is the beginnings of a stash. And with as long as he will need to be in the hospital, her motivation will probably start to flag by the time he is ready to come home, resulting in a reduction in supply.

    That's all I can think of right now. You might want to check out your library and see if they have any books on prematurity. The NICU where my son was had a lending library with books to give parents an idea of what they were facing, and I found it very helpful. If you have an idea of what challenges she will be facing, maybe you can think of other ways to help.
    Last edited by @llli*ladydilee; April 5th, 2010 at 11:28 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: friend with premature baby

    Oh and another thing. You should check with the hospital about whether or not they would accept your donor milk. Just because if you DO offer and she gets her hopes up, and then they won't accept it, that could be not so great either. I know that our NICU wouldn't have accepted it. They would only use milk bank milk.
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel


    Remember, you are not managing an inconvenience; You are raising a human being ~ Kittie Frantz
    Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth ~ Albert Einstein
    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
    Looking for more information about vaccines?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    783

    Default Re: friend with premature baby

    All I have to say is...kudos to you!! You sound like a wonderful friend!
    SAHM to all my boys

    Wyatt 2/23/99
    Isaiah 7/11/00
    Hunter 2/9/10- made it through our dairy allergy!
    and loving from afar, my DSS Kaleb 3/30/97

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: friend with premature baby

    So I just talked to her husband and pumping is going really well. She has quite a bit of milk ready now and they are going to try feeding him today. I'll check with the NICU. She probably won't need my milk, but it would be good to know if she would be able to use it. If they will allow it, perhaps I'll start pumping once a day now and then if they don't need it, I can just donate it to someone else via milkshare.

    They did tell her that she could go 5 hours at night but to pump every 2 to 3 hours otherwise. Should she not take that 5 hour break to sleep?

    I really like the idea about a map of restaurants in the area, hours they are open, gift cards and the like. I think I will send out an email to friends at work to try and organize that.

    I have overwhelmed (or embarrased?) the husband with my offers to clean their house, dishes, laundry etc, so for now we will just bring food and other things and let them tell us if they need anything else.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

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