Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Checklist of Requests (When You're Heading Home)

I really hope I do not make any hospital employees angry by making these suggestions, but here a few things that I recommend you ask for before you leave the hospital. Keep in mind, of course, that availability will vary as will policy... but, as the saying goes, it never hurts to ask for:

  • A couple extra cans of formula (if you're using it for feedings OR to fortify breast milk)
  • A couple bags of preemie or newborn size diapers, whichever your child is in at that point
  • The phone number to the nurses who are used to caring for your baby (you will trust them much more with your questions in those early days than the people at your regular pediatrician's office)
  • A signed prescription form listing your child's height and weight (this can be used at the WIC office or supplemental insurance offices so that you do not have to cart your preemie through germ-filled rooms)
  • A spare pumping kit. One of the valves on my kit tore and failed and had it not been for my back-up kit, I would have been one frustrated lady in the middle of the night out in the country...
  • Two of whatever pacifier your baby is used to. It took me ages to track down just the right kind of Soothie pacifier after we couldn't find the ONE we had brought from the hospital.
  • At least a 3 day supply of any feeding, O2, trach, apnea monitor, etc. materials you will need including tubing, adhesives, syringes, and leads (those wires that attach to your baby).
Most of these things will prove essential just to keep you from having to leave the house for 2-3 days and, trust me, you will be hesitant to leave the house in those first few days. I'm sure I will think of a dozen more things it would be wise to request but, until then, any of you been-there-done-that preemie parents want to chime in with suggestions?

1 comment:

Ryann said...

My aunt "snagged" a box of gloves from my post-partum room when she picked me up to go home. I thought she was crazy at the time, but it has been nice to use those gloves for handling those really dirty, messy, diapers... the blow out ones. We also have used them to place suppositories on those occasions when Addy was dealing with constipation. I've also thrown a few in the glove box for when I'm pumping gas... can you imagine how germy those handles get? Speaking of germy... we also brought home two large bottles of hand sanitizer from the hospital. I keep one in the car and one in the side pocket of the diaper bag.

On a side note, some things to ask for so you will always remember: a few of the smallest diaper your child ever wore and hand and feet prints or casts. We were also given the blood pressure cuffs and c-pap hats they used for Addy. These all went in her memory box along with the scrapbook pages and photos the nurses made for her to hang near her isolette.

Also, before you leave the hospital, make sure you have, in writing, the follow up appointments scheduled and phone numbers to each office so you can reschedule or ask questions if needed. Don't forget to have a list of prescriptions too.

Like jessieleigh says, it doesn't hurt to ask!