Tuesday, January 3, 2012

NICU veterans share these words of advice for parents whose babies are nearing discharge:
  • "Be patient (easier said then done, I know). Ask lots and lots of questions. Ask if your insurance will cover a home health nurse to come in once a week, once every two weeks, whatever... to help monitor weight gain etc. Get a planner...you'll need it to keep track of all the appointments in the coming months. Keep copies of the discharge summary in your diaper bag, should you need it. We also got a folder for the diaper bag and kept all their various papers from each appointment because often we'd need those papers for the next appointment or to relay things to each specialist or the Pedi."
  • "Keep the discharge paper they give you. I have refered back to it every time I fill out paper work for docs, IE, and starting school."
  • "Make sure you have all the supplies you need to care for them on hand. At least enough to get you through the first few weeks. Adjusting to caring for your baby yourself is a tough job so use the NICU time wisely. Stock up on diapers, wipes, bath supplies, meals for you, etc. Anything you might need and forgot about. I know we used Ian's 8 days in NICU with Jack for this since I was on hospital bedrest for 7 weeks prior to their birth, so I had NO TIME to nest before my discharge. Also, if you have anyone who's willing to come and visit you to help, make sure to stock up on hand soap and hand sanitizer. And have them do chores as much as possible rather than baby care."
  • "Ask anything you have questions about. Be sure you are clear about any follow up appointments, program enrollments, and other necessities. We were able to get some coupons for Neosure from the NICU social worker, which really helped! Also, know who to call if you have questions or issues after discharge. We did not see the pediatrician for a few days after the discharge, so we had to call the NICU with questions for the first few days. After that, it was the pediatrician."
  • "Dont let yourself get too excited about a "date" just trust that your baby will go home when she/he is ready."
  • "We'd been home with the other baby for 2 weeks by then, so the biggest change was going from sleeping pretty decently with one baby to sleeping not at all with two :) The apena monitor sucked though. She'd had one episode early on and the thing had a million false alarms. We eventually ditched it against medical advise when she was about 41 weeks gestational (about 3.5 weeks post release) after the doc told us to use it another 6 weeks without having even read the alarm report (literally, he had not gotten the report from the download yet). Our pedi supported our decision, but obviously this wouldn't make sense for a baby with a history of A/Bs. The point of me telling you this detail - use your mommy gut :)"


Precious and priceless so lovable too, the world’s sweetest littlest miracle is, a baby like you.

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