I had a very difficult time finding information online about micro-preemies and I also have had many emails from people who either A) recently gave birth to a preemie or B) know someone who did. I wanted to pull together a collection of resources that I personally have found to be incredibly helpful during my own experience with having a tiny baby in the NICU.
I highly recommend connecting with the Graham's Foundation. If you know someone who has given birth to a micro-preemie, please contact the Graham's Foundation and they will send them a care package containing great information and really useful supplies for micro-preemie parents. It was one of the best things we received early on in our journey.
I am incredibly passionate about being able to provide preemie parents with access to resources so if you have a website/blog/store that you think would be a good fit for this list, please submit it in the comments below.
The Premature Baby Book: Everything You Need to Know About Your Premature Baby from Birth to Age One - This is hands down my favorite book for parents of preemies. It has very good, comprehensive information on what to expect, what the NICU is like, advice from other parents and more. I felt like it was very informative while also dealing with the emotional aspect of having a premature baby, which I think is often overlooked in written material but a very big part of the experience that should be addressed. Highly recommended.
Preemies - Second Edition: The Essential Guide for Parents of Premature Babies - They gave me this book at the hospital. It is very good, very informative but very clinical. I recommend reading the Dr. Sears book first and keeping this one on hand to look up information about issues that arise with your baby. This is a tough read if it's the first thing you look at, it can be a little overwhelming.
It was incredibly difficult to find clothing for a micro-preemie! Hospitals differ but we were not able to put Scarlette in clothing until she was about three pounds. Many hospitals wait until the baby is ready for an open crib. Ask your hospital what their policy is for letting you bring in clothes for your little one and what they prefer. My hospital preferred the preemie clothes that velcroed or snapped open, no zippers!
It's A Preemie Thing - I love their little clothes! They have super cute, hospital friendly tiny clothing as well as clever onesies for when your baby is older.
Preemie-Yums - we received an outfit from them as a gift so I can't attest to the ordering process. I can say, however, that it was the nurses favorite outfit. Easy to access the baby and super soft!
Target - I picked up a lot of preemie clothes on sale at Target. Their preemie line ran really small and she was able to wear them from about 3lbs to 5lbs.
Babies R Us - Another source of really good fitting preemie clothes. They have a larger selection but I found them pricey. I was blessed to receive hand-me down preemie clothes from their store but didn't purchase anything due to cost. I did receive the Halo Preemie Sleepset as a shower gift and really love it.
Little Me - I received several of these as gifts and they were also well received by the nursing staff. Plus, they are really cute!
Contact your hospital to see when their local NICU support group meets! I also found these online support groups a great source of information while we were in the hospital.
March of Dimes
The Bump Preemie Board
Micro Preemie Yahoo Group
I have chosen to cloth diaper Scarlette and I had a hard time finding information about cloth diapering for preemies so I hope this helps!
I'll update with some information on how I cloth diaper and what I use after I've gotten a little more experience. We had to wait until Scarlette's legs got fatter to get started!
For preemie diapers before she was big enough for cloth, we used the Pampers Preemie Swaddler diapers that they used in the NICU but Scarlette had pretty sensitive skin and seemed to have a rash with those often so I'm hesitant to recommend them. As soon as we were able, we switched to the Earth's Best newborn diapers. They fit really well and she didn't have any rashes with them. Because her skin was so sensitive, these were the best. We received a bunch at our shower but you can buy them at Babies R Us or online.
Cotton Babies - a great store and I am thrilled with their customer service. They were very helpful to me as tried to find the best fitting diaper for Scarlette, taking into account her delicate hips.
It's A Preemie Thing Blog - good articles and they often have giveaways just for parents of preemies!
Preemie Babies 101 - I love this site, it has good information on the NICU experience. It is made up of other people's micro-preemie stories and I personally found that the photos/stories could be sad and disturbing when I was early on in my journey with Scarlette. It is a great site, but one to be emotionally prepared to look at.
That said, if you're exclusively pumping or breastfeeding a preemie, check out www.kellymom.com for great tips and recommendations.
Additionally, request to see the lactation consultant at the hospital. They were incredibly helpful to me.
For supply, the Mother's Milk Tea was a huge help to me, although I totally recommend adding a little sugar and honey. Mother's Milk Tea + oatmeal for breakfast each day really did up my supply.
As for pumps, I used three different pumps. I wasn't a huge fan of the Lansinoh pump, I just couldn't seem to get as much milk with that one. The children's hospital had an Ameda hospital grade pump in the nursing rooms. That sucker looked like a transmission and hurt like a BLEEP!! I even called in the lactation consultant to make sure I was using it right and nothing made that thing comfortable.
The best pump was the Medela Symphony but it was provided by the hospital, which is great because it is over a thousand dollars. WHAT?!
Our hospital provided a breast pump free of charge to mother's with babies in the NICU for the duration of their stay. Check with your hospital to see if you qualify for one. Also, check with your insurance company, many will cover all or at least a portion. And if that doesn't work, ask your hospital social worker for suggestions. Some county health departments will lend out breast pumps to preemie moms. Our hospital also allowed you to rent a hospital grade pump if you needed too, but at the price it would have been cheaper to buy one for the amount of time we needed it for.
How To: Make A Micro-Preemie Hat