Surprise! When your baby comes early.

By Sandhya Burriss, Mama Genie

Premature Babies - Simple Steps to get you through the early days...

As a parent of 3 premature babies, I can relate to the turmoil of a false start with your babies. Sometimes you know they’re coming early and sometimes you don’t. Even when you do, it still turns your life upside down. So what can you do to prepare, or make life easier?

We have 5 simple steps that can help you put your mind at rest, at least for the short term, whilst they are growing strong in special care.

Food - cook it up and freeze it. Ask others to cook some and bring it over. You won’t have much time, or energy, to cook so having others help out in this way is amazing. You can also consider home delivery of ready made foods or your groceries. Take out and hospital canteen food start to get monotonous and can leave you feeling a dent in your pocket and you feeling a bit lethargic.

Source clothing - premmie clothing is hard to come by and where it is available it gets snapped up quickly. Online is a great place to start and some clothes have been made with the NICU in mind, allowing wires and monitors to be easily placed without being interfered with by the garment.

Pumping milk - you’ll need a good hospital grade pump for pumping to provide milk for your baby. They’re more efficient, quicker and allow for double pumping. You can hire from your local pharmacy or purchase one, which could be more cost effective depending on how long you’re expecting to pump for.

Routine - establishing a good routine for yourself in the NICU will help pass the day quicker. You’ll establish this easily around the NICU routine of feeds and nappy changes so make sure that you schedule in all the necessities, like pumping, eating, resting, cuddling and taking some time to go for a walk.

Ask for help. Whatever it is, make sure you get better at letting your guard down and allowing others to assist. Cooking, cleaning, babysitting older kids… have a list and ask visitors to pick a task and help out. Not only that, ask the nurses and doctors for help with anything you’re unsure about. The extended time in the hospital is an advantage to get advice, sleep and time for yourself.

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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