Concern about infection?

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Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377
Concern about infection?

The nurses in the NICU have put fear into us about the risk of infection. How real is this fear? Talking to them makes me feel like I can't take DD2 out anywhere (store, playgroup, visiiting people). I also don't know how well that will work with a preschooler. If this is a huge fear, then I will stay home. However, if it just means I need to take precautions when going out, I would rather do that.

Joined: 01/06/03
Posts: 1175


Hi, my almost-10-year-old dd was a 31-weeker. She came home at 1 month old, but still a month shy of her due date. When she was discharged from the NICU, both the doctors and the nurses in the NICU told us that we should NOT take her out/around lots of people/etc for quite awhile. A preemie's immune system isn't as strong as ours, or even a full term baby (though I never took my full term baby out for a few weeks either :)). Basically they told us that what is a sniffle/small cold in a full term infant, could put her in hospital/be very serious.
So for us, we chose to "err" on the side of caution and followed their advice... we said NO VISITORS (and yes, that included family... except occasionally my mother who was helping me) and I only took her out for doctor's appointments. After she reached "term" I did start taking her out a little bit (ie to church) but still avoided large crowded places (like the mall) for longer. Actually, even up to a year old, if we were invited somewhere but knew people were sick, we'd not take her.

Yes, some people were offended and we got the "the twins (SIL's dd's) were premature and we didn't have to do that!" (*coughMILcough*... note: the twins were 36 weekers/twice+ the birth weight of dd) but 99% of them understood... and as far as we were concerned, dd's health was more important than MIL's opinion. Granted, I didn't have another child at home at the time... but I know we would've still stuck to it as much as was possible. Part of me is glad I didn't... then I didn't have to be paranoid about germs coming home from school/etc... and I know I would've been! Lol

Do you have a family member who could watch the baby for an hour sometimes while you took your older child to the park or a playgroup/etc? Or maybe they could take your dd out for you once in awhile to break up their day? Or while you run to the grocery store if you need to go before dh gets home in the evenings? If you did have to take the baby out, I would keep her covered and be VERY firm on no touching/no looking/etc. But myself, at this stage... I don't think I'd be comfortable with going out unless I absolutely had to. I'd be too worried. Smile

AlyssaEimers's picture
Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 6561

They said that with all three of my girls. That they should not go out until their due date. I did not do this however. I believe it would have been terrible for my emotional well being. I never had PDD but I think I would have if I was cooped up at home for weeks or months at a time. We were just wise. When we went to church I sat up in the sound booth and did not let anyone touch or hold the baby. When someone did hold the baby we had them use hand sanitizer first.

Danifo's picture
Joined: 09/07/10
Posts: 1377

I guess at the rate we are going, DD2 will be full term by the time she comes home :rolleyes: She will be at least be 37 weeks... We just moved (western Canada to eastern US) so I don't know anyone other than my immediate neighboursand I had been planning on a local New Moms group so I'll delay starting that until at least October. Groceries I was planning on a local online delivery service for the first little bit so I'm not too worried there. I guess my biggest concern is preschool (drop off, pickup, exposure of DD1 to all the little germ factories...).

I'm thinking of getting a sling so it is harder for people to touch DD2. My current carriers are only for 8lbs +.

Daffodils's picture
Joined: 04/29/09
Posts: 73

It is a real concern, but I don't think you need to hole up in the house and not go anywhere! My boys were 30 weekers and were born in October. They came home from NICU in November and December, so prime cold/flu time. We did not take them anywhere but doctors visits and my parents' house until probably March. We did allow close family to visit though, and made sure they washed their hands and used lots of sanitizer. Do whatever you need to do to keep your sanity! I'd say wait until around her due date though to take her out, and just take sanitizer with you wherever you go. The sling sounds like a great idea. Good luck!