My premie journey - top tips to make your hospital stay easier.
“Making it easier"
Did you know every year approximately 10% of all babies are born premature (before 37 weeks gestation) in New Zealand? That’s one premature baby born every 90 minutes.
My daughter Sophie was premature, born at 35 weeks and weighing 2kg, we were in Auckland hospital for 9 days.
I was given some advice that made my hospital stay easier; in fact, it made my hospital stay feel like maternity leave.
Let's face it; nobody wants to be in the hospital, even more so with a premature baby.
All of sudden the picture you had in your head, of going full term, struggling to walk, having your baby, taking them home has gone.
You're now in the hospital, with a tiny wee baby, maybe in NICU, being fed through a tube and you’re pumping, pumping, pumping. To read more about pumping head here.
How did I make my hospital stay easier?
I embraced it, rather than fighting it and wishing I wasn’t there, I did what I could to make it more enjoyable.
Please note: My experience in hospital was for a late Prem baby. I hope that these tips might help other mothers in the same situation that I was in with a late Prem. I can't imagine what it must be like having a much earlier unwell baby. To the parents in these situations I send my love and strength at what is a very tough time.
Thirsty? Breastfeeding and pumping can make you thirsty, especially if you’re in hospital, so keeping up your fluids is essential.
In the hospital I came across the aqua mamma drinks, I was drinking so much water but was still thirsty, Aqua mama helped this.
It's a solution designed by Obstetrician that helps you stay hydrated, is low in sugar and artificial colours and sweeteners which is always a bonus.
You might be thinking I don’t have time for myself, you do, make time, it's so important. My "me time" was simply leaving Sophie with the nurses in the morning, stretching my legs and walking down to get a coffee. Simple things that help you get a bit of normality in your daily routine are great for your mental health.
Make it feel like home.
Get someone to bring something in from home that makes it feel like home. It may be a favourite blanket, your dressing gown. For me, it was a cup; you might be thinking a cup?
I don’t know about you, but personally, I don’t like drinking tea from plastic? So I got hubby to bring me a cup from home, it meant I got to dictate when I was going to have a cuppa, and I got to enjoy it.
I drank Pukka relax tea, and Artemis Breastfeeding tea to help me establish the best supply I could, both teas I loved.
Remember to eat.
I, for one, forget to eat when I’ve got a lot going on. As well there's added a challenge of not being at home so you can’t just grab something. I got hubby to bring me up a fruit bowl full of fruit so I could have something healthy on hand when I was peckish. I also got him to pick up some yummy snack foods, as well as some delicious breastfeeding biscuits for when I wanted a sneaky little late night snack.
Catch up on some trashy TV.
Did you know most hospitals have free Wi-Fi? So if you have an I pad or laptop get someone to bring it in or borrow one.
Do you have Sky or Netflix at home? Download their apps and enjoy? Otherwise download TV3 on demand.
I watched re runs of Gilmore Girls, which was great because for once I could watch it without my hubby complaining about how quickly they talk.
Do skin on skin.
Skin on skin, also know as kangaroo care is fantastic for preemie babies and has so many benefits. I personally loved wearing my daughter and would do it for hours on end. Ask the hospital for a stretchy grip and pop them in. Get dad to do it to.
Make sure you look after your nipples.
Sore painful nipples can make and already more difficult feeding journey so much harder. So make sure you have some nipple cream on hand to make it more bearable.
Do a bit of shopping.
Who doesn’t love a spot of shopping, grab your self some breastfeeding tops or some gorgeous clothes for your wee babies to grow into and most importantly some supplies from us to help make your feeding journey easier
Here are a few of my favorite online stores.
http://www.addisonclothing.co.nz/ for the best breastfeeding dresses and tops.
https://www.jamiekay.co.nz/ for the cutest girl clothes out
http://www.exploredesign.boutique/ I love their boys clothes
https://littlepineandco.com/ for gorgeous natural baby toys