Hi! My dd was born Sept 12th, at 34 weeks, 2 days. She was a big girl, weighing 6lbs even. She didn't have any distress at birth (never on oxygen, had an ng tube but never used it). They kept her in the nicu for 6 days, to monitor temp, and ensure she was truly able to nurse for all her feeds. They sent her home Sept. 17th on an apnea monitor (she had 2 alarms while in the nicu - low heart rate), at 5lbs, 5 oz. She is currently 7lb, 3oz.
My question is, how careful do we need to be of germs, etc? I tend to be a bit of a germaphobe as it is, but is any preemie more at risk of developing complications from illness, or is it only if the preemie had complications at birth? Am I right in my understanding that at 34 weeks, a baby does not have all the mother's antibodies? If it was just a matter of taking my preemie dd out in public, I don't think I would be so nervous since I can control what she comes in contact with, but I have a 2 1/2 yr old dd who thinks her nose is a finger holder! I'm just not sure what to allow my 2 1/2 year old to do. She is at home with me, but goes to sunday school (where she got sick from constantly last winter - too many mom's thinking a clear runny nose isn't contagious), and she has a friend she likes to play with during the week (the friend has a constant runny nose). I just had a message from the friends mom, asking if my dd could go to the park to play with her dd. I get nervous just thinking about it! Our peds only advice was to practice good handwashing. We heard different advice from the nicu nurses, ranging from not going out in public for 1 month - not going out for 6 months.
What have you all been told/what have you done?
Thanks in advance,
My girls were NICU residents for 11 weeks. We heard all the same things you just said. In the end I decided I had to live my life! I hand wash and carry Clean Well spray with me at all times. I make sure that no one touches the babies which is hard. I have NO idea why people think it is okay to touch a newborn! I find that carrying them in the Moby keeps them happy and prevents people from touching. I would say to stay away from toddlers as much as you can and have older children was their hands before entering the same space as the baby. Breastfeeding helps too because you pass on immunity to the baby. The girls have been home for 3 months and they have never been sick (fingers crossed!) They are not as breakable as you think they may be.
Wife to DH Momma to twin girls cloth diapering, no vaxing, family bed, organic living, eating and wearing family!
Janelle was born at 34 weeks and we weren't that careful, she didn't go to daycare (wouldn't of if she had been fullterm either though) but we did take her shopping with us and stuff. She was by far our healthiest kid for that first year, but she was the first, so she just naturally was exposed to less because of that. River was born at 36 weeks and ended up hospitalized a few times for just minor viruses, we were super careful with him, but since he had 3 older siblings, 2 of which were in school, he was still sick all the time.
eta: Janelle was 5lbs 9ounces, came home from the hospital at 5 days old and 4lbs 8oz. River was born at 5lbs 14oz, came home from the hospital at 3 days old and 5lbs 10oz. Neither had issues with anything except maintaining body temperature. Janelle had a monitor (but not till later when she was re-hospitalized due to severe reflux) but River did not. They are both fine, developmentally they have done much better than their brothers born at 38 and 39 weeks, and health wise they are I think fairly typical now.