Things to do to support someone who has had a very premature baby (2 months early, emergency c-section)

Found 7th Oct 2017
My friend has just given birth to her amazing little girl 2 months early, by emergency c-section.

Both of them are quite unwell, with the baby being on ventilation (and can't be held as she's too little).

Please can you give me advice as to what I can do to help support both mother and baby.

Currently her family are staying and helping, and they are 3 hours away from me, but I will be going to see her at some point when she is ready for it. For now I want to help in any way I can. I want to give her space to get better and bond with her baby, whilst also trying to be there and support her as best I can.

I am trying to organise some premature baby clothing as I know that's on the husband's to-do list but it's really difficult to buy them for a baby so small.

I will at some point do an online supermarket order to get some foody treats for my friend, and things she won't have to cook.

She hasn't got anything prepared; no pram, car seat, crib, clothes, hasn't painted the nursery etc.

Please let me know any things which will help either mum or baby, however trivial or small, sometimes it's the small thoughtful things that help the most.
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Can you knit? Tiny babies need teeny tiny hats. There are lots of free knitting patterns on sites like hobbycraft. Take no time to do but a lovely personal touch. Think Tesco baby event starts next week too so that might be worth a look
Edited by: "psychobitchfromhell" 8th Oct 2017
Have some meals cooked and freeze them for when they get home as they probably won’t feel like cooking. Asda do premature clothes but in hospital they usually keep them in just a nappy & hat. My sister was born 12 weeks premature and is now 15 years old and nearly as tall as me! Get family and friends to have a whip round to pay for parking costs as it does add up! I remember my dad parking further away from the hospital and making us walk up when we went to visit lol
Very early babies don’t wear anything in the SCBU except a nappy for a little while. When ours were in it was a big day when we could dress them.

The asda premature baby range is the best, it buttons all around each arm and leg for tubes etc. They were a lifesaver and start from 3lb.

we would spend every day until about 11 o’clock there which got expensive on hospital food. So any gifts we got that were food related were a big help as there were fridges and microwaves so we could heat it up.

but all in all the SCBU have pretty much everything that baby needs so things to make their lives easier for long stays out of the housewould likely be best
I would agree with "Dannyrobbo". My Granddaughter was 5 months old before she could wear anything other than a nappy. Clothes people had bought her went unworn and were donated to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. Daughter stayed in a Ronald McDonald home in a different city for 7 months so home cooked food that she could heat up in the microwave/oven was a lifesaver for her. Just having someone quietly sit with her beside the baby was all she wanted.
Thank you everyone who's commented, it's been a whirlwind but both mother and baby are doing ok. The baby will probably be in hospital for another 8 weeks but my friend might even be discharged tomorrow.

The comments and suggestions have been fantastic, thank you!

The first bundle of things:
- I've made a taggy for the baby on which I've embroidered her name on. It's too big for her now but can be used to decorate her 'space' in the NICU unit as apparently they're allowed to put things up and around in their bay/space.

- I made biscuits and put them in 2 tupperware pots, one for my friends and another one to share with the nurses & other parents who have babies in the NICU (might make a good ice breaker?!).

- Adult colouring in book and pens so she has something mindless to do and can then use them to decorate their 'space' with.

The second bundle being posted tomorrow:
- peppermint tea (helped me after abdominal surgery (burst appendix, so similar sort of area but much less traumatic) as you get really painful trapped wind)

- Crabtree & Evelyn shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lip balm, hand creams, plus 'bump' bubble bath and 'baby & me' alcohol gel (when in hospital I found a luxurious shower made me feel human again, and smelling good made me feel good. Then the hand creams for dry hands due to the washing & gels etc)

- bamboo pads where the theory is that the mum (& dad can too) wear one under their shirt for a few hours and when they leave the baby at night the pad gets put in the incubator and then the baby can smell their mummy which helps the baby a lot and can make them stronger as they recognise the smell of their mummy from the womb (how clever is that?!) and feel safer and calmer.…ads

I have plans for things to send when milestones are reached, but want them to all be thoughtful.

I love the idea of an M&S voucher, and maybe some 'cook' frozen suppers or a supermarket delivery once my friend's mother has left and she's got less of an on-hand support network, as the hubby is back at work today and saving his paternity leave for when the baby comes home as she's being looked after by the nurses at the moment and he will be needed more later on.

I've been incredibly lucky and have been offered a moses basket to give her, and once the baby is stronger and things feel safer, I'll give it to my friends. I won't take it up until the baby is much older and out of the higher level care units.

My parents know what it's like to have a baby and not bring him home from the hospital, so it's a juggling act as a friend recognising the momentous occasion of the birth whilst also not doing anything that could upset or cause hurt if the worst happened. So no furniture yet, but yes to biscuits!
More suggestions are really welcome.

Even if they're little things that made your day a little brighter or something that helped the baby, mummy or daddy!

All advice for what friends can do. For now I'm being completely undemanding and sending messages with no questions, or expectation for replies, just sending support and love.

My friend's first baby buy - literally first as she had bought nothing for the baby before this - was an electric breast pump! She feels like a cow being milked for 20 minutes every 3 hours but is doing great and able to provide more than enough milk at the moment.
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