Anonymous

What to bring to someone in hospital on bed rest/for a preemie baby?

A good friend has been hospitalized with severe pregnancy complications far ahead of her due date and will be there for weeks. She’ll likely be induced soon as well. I’ll be visiting her this weekend, and wondering (especially if anyone has been there) what I should bring for her to make her stay more comfortable (maybe comfy PJs/food?), and also for the baby (maybe preemie sized clothes)? Anything else I can do to be helpful? I can’t even imagine what she’s going through.

  • Elle
    Mar 13

    What a good friend she has in you! Video game console. Plug it right into the tv in her room. Download some of her favorite video games or video game versions of her favorite board games. Bring extra batteries for controllers. Preemie clothes are good!

  • Amanda
    Mar 13

    A super comfy pillow and soft blanket would be nice if she doesn’t already have them. Also helpful are food and gas gift cards as I’m sure her partner/family is spending lots of money visiting and bringing outside food. Also would be amazing to offer her help in getting things done back at home because she can’t be there. When I was in the hospital before my preemie was born, I was worried about the laundry piling up and the cat not getting enough attention. ❤️ It’s the simple stuff.

  • Katie
    Mar 14

    Video games would’ve been a lifesaver when I was in a similar situation! I was bored out of my mind. Puzzle books, library books (not baby related!), magazines, play board games with her! And of course bring food. If she’s in a long hospital stay then there is definitely nothing better than outside food. Cook her one of her favorites or just bring her something yummy. You are an awesome friend. As for munchkin, the hospitals usually have a bunch of premie stuff on hand but a cute hat would be good because premies need body heat and the hospital hats aren’t as cute.

  • Kayla
    Mar 14

    Similar situation here- I was on bed rest in the hospital for 5 weeks total and had baby girl at 33 weeks. We brought in an Amazon fire stick that plugged directly into the TV. It gave me Netflix, Hulu, and Prime and lots more but that’s what I mainly used it for. It was so nice to have more show options than the 15 channels the hospital had. I loved getting outside food and treats. And even goodies/snacks to offer to the nurses and doctors as they came in. We always had little chocolates or candycanes by the door for when they made their rounds. Button down pjs were incredible because they constantly had to monitor the baby and it was nice to still have some coverage without lifting up my shirt every time. Target has super soft matching sets usually. It makes you feel a little more at home. And for the baby, definitely a cute, super soft hat! Or cozy swaddle blankets. They need to stay warm! So sweet that you’re thinking of her during this tough time! It will make such a difference to her having your support no matter what you bring/do! 💕

  • jessica
    Mar 14

    i went through what she’s going through - i was supposed to be in the hospital for 6 weeks, but only lasted 2 before i got too sick and they induced me. i was on a mag drip, which made me....totally hungover feeling and out of it. i couldn’t have played a video game or used my phone....i just sorta half watched tv. i would check in with your friend’s partner frequently to see what she needs. my best friend ended up bringing him food and supplies etc, which honestly helped me, it made him better for me. the NICU hooks parents up with everything, but if you buy her all the stuff you know she’ll need later when her baby is older, newborn sized stuff, bottles, supplies, that’s invaluable. honestly money helps as well; preemie moms usually have to get creative and resourceful in order to figure out how to afford to take all that extra maternity leave.

  • Ivy
    Mar 14

    I always wondered if those streaming sticks for TV would work at a hospital. I think that would be a great gift for your friend if the hospital has good WiFi. As Kayla mentioned above, having options is nice. Idk if she will be breastfeeding or not, but breast pads are often forgotten on the hospital bag list. Definitely bring her treats. I would often decline requests, but if they’re already brought to me, it was truly a treat. My husband knew I really like hot cocoa and rice crispy snacks during my hospital stay. If she has other kids, help out if you are able. If she has responsibilities outside the hospital, ask her what they are and offer to help so she won’t have to worry about getting those things done.

  • Julie
    Mar 14

    My sister was in a similar situation and what I did was call the hospital and asked them what services or material items they’d give their NICU moms if they could! Lots of hospitals are great and many others don’t have everything. The guy at the hospital gave me a lot of ideas and then he patched me in to the NICU nurse station and they had even more ideas. Good luck to your friend!!!

  • C
    Mar 14

    I could've been your friend in the hospital. That was me to a tee! Here's what you bring: Anything from home that she needs or wants. Ask if she'd like someone to drop by her house and pick up a few things, maybe water her plants or feed her pets too if no one is home to do it. Her favorite home cooked or takeout food. Hospital food is good for you but wow does it taste terrible. Save her from having to eat it three times every day for weeks. You could literally be saving her sanity. Hobbies that don't require much effort, to keep her from being bored, but not too strenuous for a bedridden person. Video games, books, knitting, coloring books, movies, that sort of thing. Cozy sweaters or blankets. Soft, warm slippers. The nurses will encourage her to get out of bed occasionally and walk, so that she doesn't atrophy and get blood clots, and walking in hospitals can be a little chilly. Compression socks. They become necessary when you're pregnant, bloated, but lying in bed most of the day. The socks will force the pooled fluids to be redistributed through the other parts of the body. Baby shower! Has she had one? It might help lift her spirits and also get things ready for the preemie baby. I had wanted one, but didn't get to have one arranged due to the hospitalization. The nurses threw me a surprise one in the hospital. Having been cooped up in this sterile environment, isolated, stuck to tubes and machines, it helped so much to see all my friends, socializing, having fun, playing baby shower games. Really. Maybe ask her if she'd like a baby shower, but I can't stress enough how much good a baby shower in hospital did. Being hospitalized feels like being trapped or imprisoned in a cheap hotel. You have a basic room with a basic adjustable bed and TV, room service brings meals from its loveless kitchen three times a day, and all your basic comforts are a call button away, but the place is drab, maybe even depressing, it never changes, it's lonely, the staff comes in frequently to invade your privacy and to poke and prod you, and worst of all you're not allowed to leave. You get claustrophobic, stir crazy. Anything to give a patient a taste of home, of their life outside those walls, any treats from outside the hospital will go a long way.

  • Cryzana
    Mar 15

    Do a beauty makeover there at the hospital. I'm guessing she didn't have the chance to go out for a beauty pamper before being hospitalized. DollarTree has face masks treatments. CVS has Brand name Dry Shampoos for around $5 (you can get cheaper with CVS coupons). BabyCenter App has videos (or YouTube) for hairstyle ideas for labor..these styles work great for hospital stays in general. Most important visit, call, text whenever you can. It gets soooooo lonely in the hospital away from everyone you love and your personal things. It really DOES NOT matter if you bring something with everytime; it's just the fact that you ARE spending time with them that matters!

  • Lindsay
    Thursday

    I was in the hospital for 5 weeks and the BEST thing people could do is come visit me as often as possible, and bring goodies like food or magazines. I just remember the loneliness and constant boredom and it was always a bright spot in the day when I knew someone would be visiting me.

  • C
    Yesterday

    Someone just alerted me to a book your friend might enjoy: "The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People." Funny as hell. Check it out! https://www.amazon.com/big-fat-activity-book-pregnant-people/s?k=big+fat+activity+book+for+pregnant+people