a friend just let me know she is in labor and will likely deliver today or tomorrow, I am 3 years post birth so have forgotten what i wished people did/brought to help me, show love, support me! so I am just looking for anyone's ideas for how to help show love and support.
she is about 5 wks early, so we'll see if the babe has to be in the nicu and for how long...her first was in the nicu for a month, so any ideas on how to help support that would help as well as I have no experience with early babies!
thanks in advance for your ideas and positive energy!!!
If the baby is 5 weeks early, she's likely looking at 1-2 weeks' NICU stay at the very least -- which can be pretty overwhelming even if you've done it before!
Ways you can offer support might be:
- offer to babysit her older child so she can spend time with the baby/take a shower/sleep/ whatever
- buy a preemie sized outfit or two that she can put on the baby right away (all the babies in the NICU are always dressed all alike, in hospital gowns and such -- if it were me, I'd want my baby to be wearing her/his own clothes, at least, if it's feasible.)
- buy her gift certificates for the hospital cafeteria or coffee shop (especially easy if there's a Starbucks there or something -- lots of hospitals do) so she can grab food while she's at the hospital with the baby
- organize a few of her friends to drop off a series of meals for her - check to see what kind of frequency would be best for her before you set anything up. I know that for us, each meal brought over by a friend lasted us 2-3 days, so maybe a twice-a-week dropoff for a few weeks would be all she'd need. There's a pretty good format for organizing this at http://signup.pleasebringit.com/faq/ -- all you do is set up a sign-up sheet online, and people can select what they want to bring and when.
- We really appreciated having a few frozen meals from friends that we could just pop in the oven or microwave when we were stuck for a meal. That might be a nice idea to provide support for your friend, too, once the baby comes home.
Postpartum, it was mostly just chores. Cooking, cleaning, or getting to take a shower before DH got home... Those were (heck, still are) a big deal. You could stock her freezer full of pre-made meals she likes, offer to run errands, come over and do a few hours of maid service, and I LOVE Comtessa's idea to offer childcare for any older children. That's my biggest fear with number two... That I'll have no time to focus on my newborn like I want to while I'm chasing my toddler all over the house.
I know that mamas with early babies can sometimes have a harder time initiating breastfeeding. Making sure that she has access to a good support system could be really helpful too (a GOOD lactation consultant, a good pump, some good nursing tea, the contact info for La Leche League in her area, etc).
You might also cross post this in the NICU and Preemie parenting board here. I bet those mamas could offer you a lot of really wonderful, unique ideas if baby #2 does end up in the NICU.
Wife to DH , mom to DS (4/09), and DD (8/11), and crafty and hardworking in my own right! In my parenting journey I've , , , , and. To each family their own!!
"There are words for people like me, but I don't think there are very many."
I like this idea but I think a lot of nicu have regulations, especially no metal snaps and they like things that open in the front. So just keep that in mind.
Canadian Mama to E 6yrs and I 3 years
Someone new coming August!
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