Post # 1
I will be 30 weeks tomorrow and was diagnosed with gestational hypertension this week. My doctor has advised me to expect an early baby. We are hoping I’ll make it to 34 weeks, but because this developed early my chances of it becoming pre-e or worsening are pretty good. (50% chance it becomes pre-e). Therefore we are expecting an early baby. Hopefully she’ll hang out for a long time, but we aren’t counting on that. I get 12 weeks maternity leave where I will be working from home, and it starts the day baby is born. Depending on how long she hangs out in utero, part of my leave will probably be with her staying in the NICU. My concern is (well, one of them) once my 12 weeks is up, I have to go back to work. It doesnt’ seem to matter how old or small she is, I will be expected to put her in daycare and return to the office. I know preemie’s have weaker immune systems and to me putting a premature baby in a daycare setting in the middle of flu season is just a terrible idea. I’m trying not to worry about this too much, but I do want to have a game plan.
If you had a preemie, when did you feel comfortable having baby around other children, particularly germ factories like daycares. Did you leave work or stay out longer to care for your itty bitty babe? What did you do? Or what would you do? Any and all practical advice welcome.
Post # 2
- Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast
A friend was having twins, and pretty much assumed that they would come early. She made it to 35 weeks, so it wasn;t too early. But she pre-arranged for family to take care of the babies in her home. Is there any way you could swing a nanny’s pay for the first 6ish months while your LO grows and builds a solid immune system?
Post # 3
lovekiss: I wish. Sadly no. It’d either be daycare, or quit my job and severly piss off my employers, and have to find a part time night job so I could work while my husband stayed home (something like waiting tables)
Post # 4
At my DD’s daycare, very young new babies are regularly showing up in the baby room. 6 week old twins just started, and recently there was even a 4 week old baby in there! The 4 week old definitely had a cold for a while when he first started, but then again so did my Dirty Delete and she was 12 weeks when she started. I think being sick for a couple of months is just part and parcel of sending a kid to daycare for the first time, regardless of how old they are.
I think the best you can do is let the daycare know that your baby was a preemie so he may not be quite as hardy as other babies the same age. If your daycare has experience with very young babies, then they should be fine with this. And just accept that your baby probably WILL get sick, and will have runny noses and coughs and all that unhappy stuff for a while. As long as you keep an eye on it and it doesn’t get too serious, then no permanent damage should be done! Try not to worry too much about it — easier said than done, of course, but still. 🙂
Post # 5
With 12 weeks of maternity leave, I think you should be fine sending your LO to day care even if they arive early. You will have your LO home for about 2 months after her original due date, which should give her time to develope to the point where the risks get a lot lower.
My friend only had 6 weeks maternity and had to return on her orignal due date for her DS. He is in daycare and doing just fine 4 months later. It might not have been flu season, but the really is no season when kids don’t drag around germs.
Post # 6
Almost all the babies we get at our daycare start between 6-8 weeks so I think by 12 weeks even a premie will be fine, but experience the same adjusting as any child
Post # 7
any change in enviroment can bring on germs– even when you are entering kindergarten or preschool for the first time.. i think 12 weeks old baby will be okay even if he or she is a premie.
Post # 8
have you considered hiring a nanny for a few months? It home daycare with less children?
Post # 9
The_Future_KB: wow I feel for you, that just sucks. I stayed at home with my preemie for 2 years! So, I would recommend to quit and stay at home – you will never ever get this time back. the first couple years of a baby’s life are incredibly amazing, and if you can afford being poorer for a while, it is absolutely 100% worth it.
That being said, I realize that all people and living situations (and obviously careers) are hugely different, so I just want to wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide, and I hope everything works out well for you. And a big congratulations on your upcoming little one!
Post # 10
NICU nurse here – it all boils down to just how early your baby decides to arrive! Babies born after 34/35 weeks tend to do a little better at fighting infections than their more premature counterparts; either way the best thing you can do for baby is breastfeed and provide pumped breastmilk at daycare. Honestly, thinking about going into cold/flu/RSV season with a preemie in daycase makes me REALLY nervous… If your baby comes closer to the 32 week mark, would it be an option for you to take 2-3 weeks off work, then go back for a while if baby is still in the NICU? We have quite a few NICU parents who try to save their maternity/paternity leave for after baby comes home – we even had a nurse who went back on “light duty” after only four weeks and was able to spend 8 weeks at home with her baby once she got discharged 2 months later! Another thing to note, in most states (assuming youi’re American) babies that are born at less than 35 weeks gestation during the months of October – May are eligible to receive Synagis, which is a vaccination against RSV. The vaccine is REALLY expensive and insurance companies are pretty strict about what babies might qualify for it – you may need to go to bat for your kid/pay out of pocket if your pediatrician decides your baby is at high risk. The best thing you can do is find a pediatrician now, before baby comes, that you can trust and discuss all this stuff with. They can help you figure out the best plan of action to keep your baby healthy!
Post # 11
My son was 10 weeks premature and I was told rather strictly that when he came out at almost his original due date that the more limited contact he had with other people/children/ the better. My son didnt have any problems as such apart from ebing born early and being smaller but all prematures babies have a weaker immune system and I would think very, very carefully about putting a premature baby in a nursery.
Having said that every baby is different. If you can make it past 35 weeks then you may be ok but under that I just personally wouldn’t risk it. If you need to go back to work try do it while your baby is in the neo natal and take the time off when your baby is out. And I really think you need a nanny to look after your baby until the immune system is stronger, it may be more expensive but you cannot put a price on a babys health
Post # 12
thanks ladies. I wish I could afford a nanny for the first few months or longer, but it simply isn’t in our budget, even with cutting out everything but power.
NurseNess17: Thank you for your perspective. I’m due in Oct, so if she comes early it would be August-Sept, but be heading into daycare around Dec approx.
I tried asking to be allowed to take a week or two off to heal after delivery then starting my maternity leave once she is released from the hospital but they said no. I would try again once everything happens and express to them how important it would be, but there’s no guarantee they’d go for it. I hate leaving things up in the air but it seems this one won’t really be decided until we know exactly how early she needs to be delivered.