Advice for friend whose baby was born at 26 weeks - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 01-14-2008, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

I was not sure where to post this.

One of my friends just gave birth to a little boy last week at 26 weeks. The boy was almost 2 pounds. He is in ICU and so far is doing well. I guess I wanted to get some advice on what to do, say, etc.

Also, what are the statistics for babies born so early? If anyone can share I would appreciate it.

Am praying for her and the baby.

I forgot to mention that this is probably the only baby she will ever have, which makes the situation more sad.
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#2 of 14 Old 01-14-2008, 03:52 AM
 
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Moving this to NICU & Preemie Parenting from B&B.
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#3 of 14 Old 01-14-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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Congratulate her on her sons birth. Ask her if there's anything she needs and/or offer to bring her meals, do her laundry. Listen to her if she wants to talk. I'm glad she's got a friend like you, who's trying to figure out the right thing to do/say.
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#4 of 14 Old 01-14-2008, 10:43 AM
 
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I agree with PP. I had a friend bring over some frozen meals when DD was in the NICU; they were a lifesaver on those "I'm so burnt out" nights after DH and I got home.

As far as statistics, check the March of Dimes website or WebMD ... you should find some information there. Also, the NICU where your friend's son is being treated should have some information as well.

You are very sweet to want to help!
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#5 of 14 Old 01-14-2008, 02:06 PM
 
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s to your friend

ITA on the meals. We had meals provided every other night when DS was in the hospital and they were truly a blessing. Even a grocery run for essentials (toilet paper, pads for pp bleeding, stuff for sandwiches, drinks, etc) is a great help. We didn't have time or energy to do hardly anything for ourselves.

Also, it will be a long time before the baby comes home, and it's important that she feels like a mother even though she is limited in what she can currently do to "mother" her baby. My son was in for 3 weeks, so I can't even imagine what it will be like for her, but I remember telling my husband that I didn't even feel like DS's mother. I loved getting flowers/cards that acknowledged DS's birth but that didn't mention the prematurity, but it may be different for the parent of a micro-preemie.

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#6 of 14 Old 01-14-2008, 05:40 PM
 
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I won't repeat what other's have said and DD was only a bit early, not a micro. But, if your friend has pets, offer to take them for walks, go over and feed/play with them, etc. I just loved that my dad came over to walk my dogs or take them to the dog park.

They were so neglected at that time - I even wish someone had offered to have them groomed for us.

Also, cleaning/laundry, errands are nice...
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#7 of 14 Old 01-14-2008, 06:43 PM
 
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FWIW latest stats that I have seen about preemie babies (this is lifted from "A Child Is Born" - which is mostly a book of beautiful in utero pictures - can't remember the authors) - says that at 26 weeks there's something around a 50% survival rate. The book definitely considered 26 weeks to be "the hump" - past which there was a good chance of survival. I think it's somewhat dependent on the experience of the NICU, too.

ITA - food, love, and support are what this mom needs. Maybe consider getting her a little picture frame or wallet to carry a picture of her babe with her while it's still in the hospital?

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#8 of 14 Old 01-14-2008, 06:55 PM
 
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We were given an 88% chance of survival for our 26-weeker (if you want to give her some hope) and avoid Dr. Sears' premature baby book!

Also, support her with pumping. I was just thinking about this today. Pumping is really hard, and see if you can help her get a hospital grade pump (where to rent one, etc.)
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#9 of 14 Old 01-14-2008, 09:10 PM
 
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gas card!!!!!!! a basket of little snack-type goodies like granola bars that can sit in the car for those rides back and forth when you dont' have time to eat. Offer to take care of pets or other children. Offer to be the go-between for them with nicu updates for friends and family(it gets REALLY old to be called everyday by everyone you know asking for updates on the baby's condition, which changes minute to minute. And when you are really emotionally burnt out from that stuff, it's hard to muster the strength to talk to friends and relatives abot it).

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#10 of 14 Old 01-17-2008, 10:46 PM
 
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Please check out stickies up top to help. As a mother of a former micro preemie, send congrats, dont say let us know if we can do anything, just do!!

Bring groceries to her home, snacks for the nicu, trashy mags like star etc to read while pumping and the nurses like them too so she can pass them on, a novel by a favorite author, pick up her dry cleaning, feed her pets, bring a hot meal and one frozen that can be taken out tomorrow or next week, gas card, gift cards for meals, money for parking at the hospital.

NO- thoughts and prayers card, telling her how lucky she is to rest up while her baby is sick, tell her how you have no idea how she is doing this and you would just die, I could go on and on! I know you wont do this but this is what people have done to myself and others in this forum.

And you are a good friend for doing this. Understand if she wont let you visit but if asks, do go and say how beautiful, cute, fiesty whatever the baby is. Buy a preemie outfit too.

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#11 of 14 Old 01-24-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah1972 View Post
We were given an 88% chance of survival for our 26-weeker (if you want to give her some hope) and avoid Dr. Sears' premature baby book!

Also, support her with pumping. I was just thinking about this today. Pumping is really hard, and see if you can help her get a hospital grade pump (where to rent one, etc.)
I came to this board looking for ways to help my friend who just had her 1st baby at 30 wks. DD is stable & doing well considering (3 lb 8 oz). My friend is committed to breastfeeding. She is in a very pro-bf hospital, & is pumping well so far, all things considered. My friend lives 3 hrs away & I can't do the "daily things" for her that I would do if I were closer (like cook dinner or do chores or errands). I'm on a budget as well, but would like to send something. I already sent her (about a week ago, before the baby was born) The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (by LLL press) & Sears' The Baby Book. While I've not agreed with everything the Searses have written, most of it is pretty solid attachment parenting info. I've not seen or heard anything about Sears' Preemie Book. What didn't you like about it?

Would it be helpful or appear meddlesome for me to send her some sort of preemie book (something from LLL publications or something similar)? From what I read on the Sticky thread of what moms of preemies wish friends knew, it looks as though many moms would rather receive fun reading or a preemie outfit.

TIA for any input.
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#12 of 14 Old 01-24-2008, 02:33 AM
 
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Really encourage her to pump and get the hospital LCs to visit her regularly while she is learning to get her supply going and pump. Baby this early won't breastfeed for a long time, but she can be reading up and learning from them about Kangaroo Care (book available on Amazon, better book for the NICU staff available from World Health Organization-I gave it to our Neonatalogist because they were NOT Kangaroo friendly). Again this baby won't do any of this right away, but when he gets there she wants to be ready. Breastmilk is critical to this baby for avoiding necrotizing eneterocolitis, which is a big infection of bowels that can be a baby killer. If she can't make milk she should push hard for banked breastmilk. Many NICU mamas are told not to pump through the night or only every 4 hours. This is really bad advice. If baby was term you wouldn't do this breastfeeding and to keep a good supply when pumping you MUST stimulate frequently, every two hours daily and that or no more than 3 hours at night. Even LCs often give bad advice on this! Meals, easy to take to NICU and run to hall for a snack foods, gift card to nearby restaurants or hosp. food venues if available. She will definitely qualify for social security for a micro preemie. Its only like 30-50 bucks a month, but it helps with meal and gas costs and her assigned hosp. social worker should be getting her on the paperwork to set this up ASAP cause it takes some weeks to start receiving it. I missed the weight cutoff for this aid by 5grams with my preemie :. Offer to clean her house for her once every couple weeks. If they have pets, take or suggest they find someone to take them off their hands until a month or so after baby comes home. We gave our dog to my in-laws for about 6 months. Mostly just listen and pray and don't make pronouncements about how well baby will or won't do. I found Reiki energy work and colorpuncture helpful for my baby. NICU hated it, but I insisted.
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#13 of 14 Old 01-27-2008, 02:05 PM
 
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Please tell your friend that 26 weekers can have a great outcome. So much depends on the care they recieve & the parents commitment & involvement. My 25 weeker is now 10 & is healthy as a horse. She is the sweetest, most thoughtful child you will ever meet. She was so sick & almost didn't make it a few times. With preemies it is three steps forward & two steps back. Sometimes you wonder if you will ever reach your destination. You eventually will, but it is a long, stressful road along the way. My preemies have been such a blessing to me. I think I am a different mom than if I had two big healthy babies. I learned to truly appreciate every breath.
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#14 of 14 Old 06-28-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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Wondering how the baby is doing? Is there an update that I missed???
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