My friend had 24w twins and I too came here wondering what to do, how to help. Here's what I found. I am not trying to speak for a preemie mom, just share what I have learned from a similar position your in.
- if your around when she is discharged, offer to drive her to the hospital. My friends dh had to go back to work and she could not drive, so I did several times.
- clean her house
- if she is pumping, buy her extra horns, so she can get a little break in washing parts so much
- buy her a little gift. I had a preemie memory book recommended to me. It's just like a baby book, but with a nicu section and such. I also got the Dr. Sears book on preemies that was recommended to me
- field calls for her. Have people call you for information, instead of her. Make the calls for her. See if she wants to start a blog or even offer to start one for her, if she seems interested and it'd ease her burden
- make sure she's eating and building her strength up as best you can w/o being annoying
- be a support for her decisions on how much she is at the nicu, if/when she goes back to work, struggles with pumping, etc...be the one not judging.
- any errands that she can't get too. Pets to the vet, clean her fridge out, stock it, etc...
I was really nervous and read a lot and found really the biggest thing is to follow her lead. Somedays she feels like talking and then yesterday I called and could tell she really did not feel like giving one more update, she was exhausted, so I kept it short. As I spent several days with her at the NICU, I got some good ideas on ways to keep helping, like where she likes to get hot tea or eat her lunch, and I'm going to get gift cards here and there. I also made sure I congratulated her on her new babies and told her how beautiful they were, because they are. I am a total spectator on this, but I cannot believe myself the rollercoaster ride of the NICU. Be patient, kind, and undemanding. I made sure my friend new I am the one person that is never going to get mad for not getting updates or returned phone calls, because it gets intense with all the sides of the family.
I don't know for sure if I'm doing the right things, but it feels like it so far.