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How can you prepare for a preemie...?

OK I am 25.3 weeks right now. When I was 22.4 weeks along, I started contracting.. 2 days later I went to L&D and sure enough I was contracting every 6 minutes and the strongest contraction was a 45 on the monitor. I was in preterm labor... I went back on Father's Day when I was 24.5 weeks and was contracting STRONG ones every 10 minutes and little ones constantly... The lowest a contraction would go was 20 then shoot back up immediatly. When I went to L&D the first time they checked my cervix 2x by hand and 1x by u/s and determined NOTHING had changed... Well Father's Day the nurse that checked me said I was still pretty thick and that she couldn't QUIET stick her finger all the way through... So it looks as though I may be starting to dialate so we are trying to prepare for a preemie.. How do you do that? I have also been contracting for 18 straight days now.. on meds but they don't help.. Advice?

Answer Question

Asked by aquarianmom69 at 2:51 PM on Jun. 25, 2010 in Pregnancy

Level 8 (256 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • have your hospital bag ready for sure by now......make sure you've got the nursery set up or bed for you baby so you don't have to worry about all that when your busy going back and forth to the hospital. If your planning on breastfeeding, buy a pump because a lot of preemies aren't strong enough to BF, so you can either give it to the hospital to give the baby or you can freeze it for when the baby is actually home with you.
    I had a friend that delievered twins @30weeks and she spent days and nights at the hospital with them and they were back and forth all the time. Have a babysitting plan for your other kids if you have any other kiddos. Find someone to watch the kids at a moments notice and work out with whoever you can get to stay with the kids while you and your husband are at the hospital and going back and forth. Have the kids schedules set out and likes and dislikes so it's as easy as possible for whoever's taking ..

    Answer by CAGirl4 at 2:58 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • I feel for you! My daughter spent 28 days in the NICU as a preemie, and I had no time to prepare.

    Do you have a hospital yet? Do some research, especially regarding who and what your insurance covers. Visit the NICU too. You won't be able to get fully inside, but talk to somebody on staff to find out what the guidelines are regarding visitors and hours and what else to expect during a stay.

    If you work, time off can be challenging. Maternity leave cannot be broken up, and it kicks in the day your child is born. Talk with your employer about what will happen if your child comes home after you are back at work. My boss was very flexible, letting me work part time during my leave and applying it forward to when she got home.

    Best of luck to you and I hope you can let that baby cook as long as possible!

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 3:00 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • care of them to do so. Where their clothes are, what time bath time is at....etc...details!
    Maybe freeze some meals and have instructions written on them so whoever is home doesn't have to cook wether it be you or your husband and you can pop something in the oven, like freezer lasagna, enchiladas, chicken and pasta, soups, garlic bread, etc.

    Answer by CAGirl4 at 3:00 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • i had my son at 33 weeks and i wasn't prepared AT ALL! what i would do is arrange with the hospital a tour of the NICU and some long conversations with a nurse and a doctor that work in the NICU. also talk to a lactation consultant who works there. these are things i wish i could have done had i known my son was going to be preemie.

    just knowing what kind of problems are common for a certain gestational age and the kinds of things they have to do to the baby would have helped so much. about PICC lines, nasal canulas, nasal gavages, etc etc. it is all really overwhelming!

    i know that the NICU we were in did meet w/ parents beforehand who knew they might have a preemie so hopefully your NICU does that too.

    also knowing about the pumping beforehand would have been helpful.

    you never know, your baby might be term!!! good luck!!!

    Answer by Stefanie83 at 3:00 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • honestly i wouldn't worry about buying a pump, just rent the hospital pump, probably medela symphony. i bought a pump before my son was born and i will use it but he's 7 weeks now and i'm still renting the hospital pump.

    Answer by Stefanie83 at 3:01 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • I do plan on breast feeding. We are waiting on our crib, car seat, and bedding to come in so we can get everything set up.... His cloth diapers are supposed to be here today so we are just waiting on the mail. The closest NICU to us is 3 hours north and 1 hour south in Texas..... We have a 2 year old but between both our parents, he would be taken care of.. I am hoping he holds out for another 4 1/2 weeks but we will see... The way it sounds, I may already be 1/2 cm dialated.. not much but within 13 days I went from not being dialated to being 1/2cm....

    Comment by aquarianmom69 (original poster) at 3:03 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • My DD came almost 3 weeks early and I was not prepared...I didn't even have my baby shower yet. The night she was born is when DH and MIL went shopping! Just try and get everything you need in a bag, and maybe talk to some nurses if you have any questions. GL MAMA! =)

    Answer by Artistachica at 3:07 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • Since you plan on breastfeeding, if he is likely to come early, you really want to talk with an LC or LLL about the special challenges, adaptations, etc. Things like: instead of them bottle feeding him your pumped milk/formula, have them syringe or dropper feed him instead; that cuts down on the chance that once he is able to latch you will have to fight a nipple preference. Also, look into starting milk increasing supplements as soon as he is born to help your supply get up faster so he is on formula less. You will want to pump every two hours or so to keep your supply up until he is able to latch and nurse well and often. has info on breastfeeding for preemies. If you go to you can find the nearest La Leche League group to meet with.

    Answer by preacherskid at 3:16 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • Do some research on common preemie problems. I had my son at 28 weeks(in the NICU for a full 3 months). It was VERY sudden. I wish I had known more about what was going to happen. Make sure you have a camera for pictures. And get a journal. Be prepared for the worst. Join a preemie group on here so you have some support from moms that have been through it. Its really hard to PREPARE for a preemie..but those are the best things I can suggest.

    Answer by nsrush83 at 5:01 PM on Jun. 25, 2010

  • good luck! many women are dilated up to 2 or 3 cm for weeks and weeks. hopefully you won't end up needing to worry about any of this but it is a good idea to be prepared for it just in case.

    Answer by Stefanie83 at 10:32 AM on Jun. 28, 2010

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