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  1. #1
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    Default Babies in the nursery

    So DS is currently in special care nursery. I came home from hospital yesterday. I no longer have the luxury of going back to my room in between visits to rest/eat/have people provide food for me so I’m wanting to hear top tips for those of you who have had babies in the nursery. I’m especially interested in best water bottles that are easy to drink from while expressing. I’ve only bought a single kit for the hospital pumps (may buy a second depending on how I go with the single) so I’ll have one hand free there, but I have a double pump at home and being able to easily drink while expressing would be a bonus.

    It’s a whole different world being on the other side of it all. One bonus is the nursery has a breakout type room for parents so I have access to microwave, sandwich press, snack foods/drinks but the fridge is only a bar fridge so I’m not sure what the go is with storing food in there. I didn’t get the chance to explore yesterday as the room was being restocked while I was having my lunch.
    Last edited by MLadyEm; 23-05-2020 at 07:04.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the crazy world of the NICU/SCN!!

    Water bottle - one handed with straw is easiest. I have a frank green one ($$$) but the standard camel pak type ones are great. I think contigo (?) make a good one as well.

    I used to split my day in the nursery - arrive for the 8/9am feed and go home for a nap after the 12ish feed before going back in the afternoon and then home for dinner. I couldn’t sit there all day. 6hrs was my limit without going crazy.

    Call in the am if you are arriving early- it would absolutely break me if I rushed to get there for a 7 am feed only to find it was done at 630.

    I took a cold bag with my lunch and expressed milk. There wasn’t anywhere for me to store lunch.

    There was a great parents lounge in our nursery. It had so much food - sandwiches, cup a soup, fruit, biscuits, muesli bars. Plus tea coffee, juice, lemonade. It was a quiet little haven and great if you got hungry and didn’t have enough snacks.

    Buy a second kit and then cut some holes in an old bra so you can slot them in and be hands free.

    Make it as normal as possible, we would take stories and read to the babies just simple ones (I need a hug, dear zoo).

    Get a small teddy/ doll and take a weekly photo, in 6/12/24 months you will appreciate seeing the comparison.


    Use the hospital clothes - even with signs up we lost so many of our clothes.

    Decide what you want and stick to it. So many well meaning nurses wanted to try this or do that. It can get very confusing if you try and listen to everyone.

    Rest as much as you can. You’ll need the sleep to make milk.

    Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, your baby will wake up and forget the nursery routine ASAP.

    If it’s offered remember rooming in is optional regardless of how hard they push. We roomed in with DD1 but declined with the twins (it would have been me solo anyway). If going home flops you can always be readmitted so I say just skip the middle step and get into your own home.

    Make sure your car seat will accommodate a tiny baby. DD1 came home at 2.2kg and luckily our capsule was one that would work.

    It’s ok to not be ok. It’s a really hard juggle.

    I’ll pop back as I think of more.

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    MLadyEm (23-05-2020)

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLadyEm View Post
    So DS is currently in special care nursery. I came home from hospital yesterday. I no longer have the luxury of going back to my room in between visits to rest/eat/have people provide food for me so I’m wanting to hear top tips for those of you who have had babies in the nursery. I’m especially interested in best water bottles that are easy to drink from while expressing. I’ve only bought a single kit for the hospital pumps (may buy a second depending on how I go with the single) so I’ll have one hand free there, but I have a double pump at home and being able to easily drink while expressing would be a bonus.

    It’s a whole different world being on the other side of it all. One bonus is the nursery has a breakout type room for parents so I have access to microwave, sandwich press, snack foods/drinks but the fridge is only a bar fridge so I’m not sure what the go is with storing food in there. I didn’t get the chance to explore yesterday as the room was being restocked while I was having my lunch.
    I second a lot of what Mum I am said.

    I definitely recommend using a double pump. I got given a tube of stretchy fabric cut holes in it. It was such a lifesaver being able to use my hands a bit while pumping. The old bra idea would work too.
    Then you have hands free to drink / use your phone etc and can be more comfy and it's obviously way quicker. Once you are doing breastfeeds as well as pumping it feels like you have no time especially if you're going to and from the hospital and also premmie babies can be so sleepy and take a long time to feed. So any time saving is worthwhile in my opinion.

    Also as mum i am said, I got really overwhelmed by different info from different nurses. Eg. Don't stay for two consecutive feeds as you'll wear him out / be here all the time for as many feeds as possible. Very hard to deal with when you're new to it all and especially with juggling an older child at home. You cant possibly be there the whole time but i did feel as though that is what was expected of me at times.

    I got mastitis when he started having some proper feeds and i was still pumping a lot but tried to reduce a bit to adjust for his feeding. Just something to keep in mind.

    Go outside for a walk / fresh air etc. I found it very intense and needed little breathers. I didnt do this but some mums wore headphones and listened to music so they were just with their bub and not getting caught up in the all noise and craziness.

    I can't really comment on the food as I had my boy in nz and if we put our name down the hospital would provide meals for us. Otherwise there was a little parents room and fridge.

    I learnt to make sure the nurses knew what my plans were. They had a little whiteboard above the bassinet and I would write " mum in for 830am feed" for example so they would know i was coming and not feed him if he woke early etc. I had one call from them at about 11pm in the first few days and i completely panicked but they just wanted to see if i was coming back in that night!!! After that i made sure I was really clear. "Im just going for a quick walk, I'll be back for the 2pm feed, but i won't be far away so call if you need me sooner" etc

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    MLadyEm (23-05-2020)

  6. #4
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    SCN experience with my first (not sure how NICU compares).

    I use a contigo bottle when BFing - button to pop it open and it clicks closed as well as being a straw one so no need to tilt.

    Between travelling to the hospital, pumping, attempting sleep etc I also found food a challenge - terrible little cafeteria with limited open hours - we would bring a little esky of food as needed (also helpful for bringing in the expressed milk).

    We called in every morning to see how she’d been overnight and the updated prognosis. We’d then go in around mid morning and stay until 8/9 at night. Many times she’d have a good night and they’d build our hopes for taking her home, so we got used to our high hopes crashing down.

    SCN nurses were difficult, we found. Not BF friendly nor encouraging, and one even berated me for not having enough colostrum early on. We had to use formula, and they were all about amounts and times consumed (how many times we heard “make her feed quicker, she’s taking too long”). We did mix feed at first but she managed to exclusively BF after a few months because of my persistence and DF’s absolute support.

    Agree with PP to keep the communications clear - we also wrote on “their” whiteboard and communication book as we left, and would read through their notes when we got in (and ask for an update on what had been entered in to the computer notes). Unless we were assertive, we’d get a watered-down version of the update.

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    MLadyEm (23-05-2020)

  8. #5
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    Those days are such a blur of tired, pumping and being hungry because I kept missing the meal delivery on the ward and they wouldn’t keep them for me. Ds was in nicu for 5 days (2 for cpap and readmitted for 3 days ng). I was able to stay in the hospital as we lived too far away and we were in for 10 days all up. I never did the nicu juggle from home.
    I just used my old Tupperware drink bottle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mum-I-Am View Post
    Make sure your car seat will accommodate a tiny baby. DD1 came home at 2.2kg and luckily our capsule was one that would work.
    This was a big thing for us, it didn’t even occur to us that DS2 wouldn’t fit his car seat and dh had to do a mad dash to the baby shop to get an appropriate capsule. He was 2.6kg on discharge.


    Also if bubs has issues feeding push for a speech therapist sooner rather than later. No LC’s were going to be able to sort out our issues, they were physiological and he needed extra jaw support.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to Twinkletoes Sparklebutt For This Useful Post:

    MLadyEm (23-05-2020)


 

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