Do I really have to be that careful?

Are you part of the NICU club? Do you have a child who is still struggling with the effects of being born too soon from preeclampsia? Share your concerns and stories here among parents who have been there.
susan863
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Re : Do I really have to be that careful?

Postby susan863 » Wed Jul 18, 2007 04:59 pm

I'm also new and had a baby recently at 33 weeks due to pre-e. My baby girl, Annabella, was also a feeder/grower with no major problems in the NICU. However, since she was discharged last week, her pediatrician has reiterated the NICU's advice; specifically, I'm told she should not be in a public place like a restaurant or a store until after her second round of vaccinations, which will be 4 months after her birth (she was born in June). So, I'm having cabin fever, but trying to follow instructions nonetheless. Best of luck to you and baby.

Susan

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caryn
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Re : Do I really have to be that careful?

Postby caryn » Wed Jul 18, 2007 04:43 pm

I used a sling, and while that was mostly because Oscar wouldn't be put down for anything, it was also handy for keeping him away from people who wanted to vector germs to us. [:)]

fiona
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Re : Do I really have to be that careful?

Postby fiona » Wed Jul 18, 2007 04:27 pm

I carried Jay around in Baby Bjorn tucked inside my coat - very hard for people to get fingers in there ;-)

I do remember, even with Sacha, getting really shirty when people thought it was okay to reach straight in with their paws - not to mention those of their dogs! (Actually, letting their dogs sniff and lick my toddler when he's strapped in a stroller still drives me insane.)

kara
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Re : Do I really have to be that careful?

Postby kara » Wed Jul 18, 2007 04:17 pm

I admitt my pediatrician is very old school, and conservative (more than most), and though we did go out and about, we took as much precaution as we could (wiping all surfaces of the grocery cart handles, since I would touch it and then her, etc.). That being said, every month and every pound we found ourselves being a little less cautious, especially once the cold and flu season were over. Once she started crawling it was all over as far as us worrying about germs. We didn't restrict her once she was able to do things on her own. And after the Nicu experience, I am with Catherine, I didn't want to hand off the baby like I thought I might. :-) We made it through the first year, and 4 cases of flu at home, without DD getting so much as a sniffle. She is certainly making up for that in daycare now though! :-) But as the others have said, just get a plan of care in line from your pediatrician before you go home.

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catherine
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Re : Do I really have to be that careful?

Postby catherine » Wed Jul 18, 2007 04:03 pm

Gina, you may be a little surprised at how little you want people to "paw" your baby!! I always thought I'd be a great baby passer but proved to be more stringent than I'd anticipated.

Make sure that you clearly understand what your Ped wants you to do. Especially re: precautions of exposure, weight gain, schedule for follow ups etc. It's amazing how uncoordinated the instructions/advice can sometimes be.

For what it's worth I work with pediatricians and I watch them recoil in horror at the sight of full term healthy babies being hugged and kissed on by people not in their immediate family. Think of it as a test of love and respect, "if you care about my baby, you'll use the soap and hand sanitizer, you won't come near us if you have respiratory or intestinal tract infections, and you'll save your kisses for baby toes that can be cleaned discreetly by mommy afterwards".

dohertyab
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Re : Do I really have to be that careful?

Postby dohertyab » Wed Jul 18, 2007 03:21 pm

Hello. Congradulations on the new wee one! I'm a been-there-done-that mom but a little different from Kara. The twins were 29 weekers (2lbs) who did well in the NICU and were feeders and growers too. They spent 11 weeks in the NICU as they weren't allowed home until off oxygen and feeding on their own and I was breastfeeding so that took a little longer. I don't know if the extra time in the NICU made a difference in their journey or not.

We brought the twins home the beginning of August (6lbs each) and did ask people to wash their hands before picking them up, to not come over if they were sick, and didn't let stangers poke at them when we had them out. We also gave them RSV shots over the winter. We did have them outside every day from the first day we brought them home, took them to a local drop-in centre (brought their own toys to chew on) after about 2 months (it took me that long to find the place) and went to mommy and me classes at the health centre. We stopped boiling all of their bottles when we came home (they got a bottle once/day) but did wash all of their chew toys in the dishwasher weekly. We shared bottles, etc between the twins, but tried to keep contact with other toys down. I didn't freak out though if we were at someone's house and the girls got into someone else's toys. We also let them pick up food from the floor, etc. Finally, we have 2 cats who were all over them. We also ended up putting them in daycare when they were 9 months corrected age (I had to go back to work then). Yes they had colds all winter but no more than any of the other kids. They did not get hospitalized since coming home from the NICU.

We lived in a small town (5,000) that is somewhat isolated and I think that helped, so most of the people we saw were the same people. We weren't advised by our ped to do anything in particular except to be aware of their immature immune system and we modified when they received all of their immunizations to accommodate the RSV shots. I don't know if we just got lucky or not, but there's a little different story.

I think you have to be aware of the possibility of germs, etc and go with what you feel comfortable with. Also take a look at how you would feel if he were to get sick again, are you ready to go back to the hospital with him? You can always try a little and then see how he handles it.

Good luck

Andrea
Tara and Rowan (May 2001, 29 weekers, HELLP)
Maeve (March 2005, 36 weeker, low fluid)

ginahunt
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Re : Do I really have to be that careful?

Postby ginahunt » Wed Jul 18, 2007 03:04 pm

Yeah I guess I should definitely be careful.
I guess with all the people around me having full term babies I kind of resent the fact that I will have to be different and can't pass my baby around as they do.

fiona
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Re : Do I really have to be that careful?

Postby fiona » Wed Jul 18, 2007 02:48 pm

Hi there,

I would have a good chat about this with the ped when they discharge him tomorrow (yay!)

My 30-weeker was on c-Pap in the NICU, did have some issues and came home mid-winter, so we were pretty careful. We kept him in until his due date and then avoided places like shopping malls and supermarkets where there would be heaps of germs floating about. He didn't have the synagis shots (and, in fact, my 36 weeker has had far more respiratory issues than his preemie brother) and went to full time daycare at 9 months with no problems.

I was fastidious about sterilizing bottles and feeding stuff until he went to daycare, but as far as noise and light etc, he had no sensory issues and to this day can fall asleep on the spot (he has put his head down on the table in restaurants from time to time).

There are general common sense precautions you'll find yourself doing almost instictively until he gets a bit bigger, anything else, your ped should be the one to guide you.

Good luck tomorrow - and congratulations.

kara
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Re : Do I really have to be that careful?

Postby kara » Wed Jul 18, 2007 02:01 pm

Hi there, Welcome to the parents of preemies forum here at the PF. Congrats on the homecoming of your little one tomorrow! An exciting and sometimes terrifying event!

I too had a 31 weeker who did really well in the nicu, and came home after about 27 days despite her small size. We were told that these little ones have very comprimised immune systems, and that even a fever would land baby back in the hospital. In fact, preemies who are born in the winter, prior to about 32 weeks will often be prescribed monthly shots called synagis to help prevent RSV (respiratory synctal virus), which can be deadly to preemies (and even really awful for full-termers). We had 4 or 5 months of those shots, and I'm thankful for them.

I would take great caution and heed the advice of your pediatrician and the NICU nurses when they tell you about sanitizing everything, and not letting others hold the baby. Many of us put ourselves in isolation type states, holed up at home, in order to keep the germs at bay. Their immune systems are not completely functional and mature, nor are their lungs and nervous systems. They use most of their energy growing, even eating, and getting bigger and stronger. They don't have much energy to waste in order to attempt to fight off germs or illness, especially with their weakened immune systems.

Our pediatrician finally let us resume most of our normal activities (like taking her to the grocery store with us) when our daughter reached 8lbs (normal baby size...as she put it). But we still sanitized everything, including our own hands, and made everyone sanitize well before holding her...and even at that, kept it to close family members.

I mentioned nervous system before. These little ones don't often handle noise and light very well, so we always made sure it was relatively quiet at home, and kept the lights dim until she got older.

It's a tough time as a mommy, especially if you're not used to such restrictions, but I would encourage you to follow your doctors advice. Ours told us no group daycare until she was 2 years old. He is a pretty conservative doctor. We moved that up a bit to 18 months, and she had a sitter who came to our home before then, but there are cases when they can go to daycare much earlier.

I'm sure you will hear from other preemie mommies who have been-there-done-that, with advice! Good luck! Please post back!

ginahunt
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Do I really have to be that careful?

Postby ginahunt » Wed Jul 18, 2007 01:37 pm

Hi, I'm new here and had a baby at 31wks (due to preeclampsia). He never had any problems in the NICU except breathing fast from time to time, basically he was a feeder/grower. He'll be coming home tomorrow. I've been reading past posts on here about moms being extra careful and things with their babies. I was just wondering do I really have to sanitize EVERYTHING and not let people hold him since he really didn't have any problems?


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