When you hear the words "you might deliver early" one of the first questions you might ask is "What do I do now?"
Unfortunately, besides possible bedrest and taking certain medications, it's unlikely your doctor will have much more to offer.
It's completely normal to feel helpless.
The desperation and urgency to find something to do can create a lot of stress and add to the anxiety that you're already feeling.
Set up a separate consultation
Schedule a second appointment with your doctor after you've had time to process the news.
Go in with your questions and understand the details of exaclty what health condition is putting you at risk for delivering early.
Ask them what anticipated care your baby will need after being born.
And be crystal clear about the restrictions you will have while you're pregnant and why.
Ensure your hospital has the best NICU for your baby
There are 4 levels of NICUs and not every hospital is prepared to provide care for babies born at all gestational ages.
Make sure you're associated with a NICU that has the best equipment and staff prepared to provide the care that your doctors anticipate that your baby will need. (Tweet that!)
Choose the right level of the NICU, figure out if you prefer private rooms versus open bays and really educate yourself about your NICU options.
Research your health insurance benefits
Look into secondary insurance and supplemental security income (SSI) as quickly as possible if you think you will need it.
Many preterm infants who are born really prematurely or are very ill will qualify for SSI so make sure you know your options.
Take a NICU tour
If you can't do one because of restrictions or because you are on bedrest, ask to speak to a NICU staff member on the phone and get all of your questions answered about what the stay will be like.
Prepare yourself for what that transition might be.
Stay away from Google
Seriously. You will only scare yoruself.
There is so much information out there that you have to make sure that the information is from a trusted source and actually applies to your specific situation.
If you find yourself overwhelmed by the idea having a preemie, you do not have to prepare alone. Contact me and let's talk about how I can help.
If you want to know more about how to prepare for a preemie, check out my FREE Preparing for Preemie Telseminar recording.
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