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What to get a mom with a baby in the NICU?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My friend's baby is 11 days old and will be in the NICU for about another month. She had an unanticipated birth defect and had to be airlifted to a children's hospital three hours from home. So my friend is now staying in the Ronald McDonald House alone. Luckily, I happen to leave nearby and will be able to visit. I want to bring her things to make her stay easier. I'm getting her a couple of nursing bras and shirts (pumping is going well - yay!) and some homemade food that she can keep in her room like bread and cookies. What else can I do for her?

It's so hard on her since this was entirely unanticipated and she's away from her husband, her daughter (not even 2yo), and the rest of her family. I want to do everything I can to help.
post #2 of 17
Maybe bring her a couple books to read? Some to entertain her, and something about either the baby's birth defect or NICU life so that she can get educated too.
post #3 of 17

Please continue to feed her

You are showing love for her in the most practical of ways. Keep it up!
post #4 of 17
You're so sweet.

Maybe some puzzle books - crosswords, sudoku? - so she has something to do when she's not in the NICU.

How about a journal? I used to document every visit from the NICU, including the nurse's name (just in case I ever had to send a thank you note).
post #5 of 17
IF she is a spiritual person, I would recommend a daily devotional specifically for mothers or making sure she has her bible and some uplifting music.

post #6 of 17
Hands-free pumping bra. Absolutely the best thing ever for someone pumping more than once a day.
post #7 of 17
fresh fruit and baked goods like you've been doing, plus a couple deliveries of hot meals at dinner time (unless she's getting free meals and they're decent). a couple lighthearted things to read while sitting in the NICU or while resting (magazines, light novels, even a couple of childrens books to read to her baby). a loan of an ipod or small laptop with some movies or music, even better if she has access to free wifi somewhere, if she doesn't have something with her. chapstick, scent-free lotion and a water bottle to keep in the NICU.

personally, i wouldn't have cared much about the nursing tops and bras... in my NICU, we basically wore pjs or very relaxed clothes and there were plenty of places to pump... nursing tops are more for when you're out in the world and want to be discreet.
post #8 of 17
How about offering to retrieve things from home, or pick up little things that she might need from the store? (for me, it was PP pads and colace... )

Does she have internet access? You could invite her to come here!
post #9 of 17
food! The things that helped us out the most were gift certificates to local restaurants, and meals that my husband's co-workers sent to us. We pretty much lived off of McDonald's for almost a month except when we got gift cards or homemade meals from people. It was SO nice to sit down to a hot dinner after eating the last 5 or 6 meals at a fast-food place.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the suggestions. You've given me some great ideas. Meals are one thing she doesn't have to worry about. The Ronald McDonald house she's staying in is REALLY nice and has a full cafeteria with three free hot meals a day. I do plan on taking her out to dinner so she can get out for a meal.

I'm also going to get her some puzzle books, a journal, and lots of snacks. And of course, lots of company.
post #11 of 17
Maybe some gas gift cards so her husband can come out. I enjoy things that would take my mind off of the nicu for a while like gossip magz or a good book. Sometimes you need that escape or you become emotionally exaughested. Gift cards for a pedicure ormassage. Make her a "mommy" basket with stuff for her not having to do with baby. She might not need it yet but there will come a time she will need it.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by justKate View Post
How about offering to retrieve things from home, or pick up little things that she might need from the store? (for me, it was PP pads and colace... )
YES THIS!!!

Also: hand lotion, lip balm, shampoo and conditioner, hats for the baby, travel packets of tissues.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
YES THIS!!!

Also: hand lotion, lip balm, shampoo and conditioner, hats for the baby, travel packets of tissues.
The Ronald McDonald house gives her all this stuff for free. And her house would be a 7-hour round-trip for me. Much as I love her, that's just not going to happen. Her mom and sister are visiting once a week or so to bring her major stuff, but I'd love to take care of the little niceties that nobody thinks about, like good nursing bras, magazines, etc.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorasMama View Post
Hands-free pumping bra. Absolutely the best thing ever for someone pumping more than once a day.
I didn't discover these until it was too late.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blessed1 View Post
IF she is a spiritual person, I would recommend a daily devotional specifically for mothers or making sure she has her bible and some uplifting music.


Quote:
Originally Posted by justKate View Post
Does she have internet access? You could invite her to come here!
Definitely a good one.
post #15 of 17
I dont know how the Ronald McDonald house your friend is staying at is set up but the one we stayed at only had a very small window of time for a ride to the hospital, so if you didn't have a car you were very limited in when you could go see your kids. Since we only have the one car if dh had to leave I would have been pretty sad about it. So if that situation applies to your friend (limited transport) maybe offer to take her over to see her baby more frequently?

And the biggest thing for me would just to have someone listen. Someone to come over and let me just whine for a little while that I didn't have to be strong for or in front of. A true shoulder to cry on that I knew would not judge me.
post #16 of 17

You are a wonderful friend.  I don't know much about the Ronald McDonald House since our house was 10 mins away from the hospital, but perhaps laundry service?  Since you are so close, it would be helpful for her not to have to use a laundromat or public washers in the RMDH if they have laundry.  Others have offered great suggestions, and your support is amazing, and she will remember it forever. 

post #17 of 17

You're a great friend. A listening ear is probably the best thing you could give her...I read Dr. Sears Preemie Book while visiting Cohen and it was GREAT!

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