Monday, November 26, 2012

RSV Awareness and World Preemie Day


Almost every baby under the age of two will contract RSV. Here are RSV facts and prevention tips, especially for premature babies. 

Preemie Awareness Day was November 17th. I alway think about this day and give thanks because my twins were born at 32 weeks premature. I was on bedrest for over 2 months before they were born. I was very blessed to have been monitored so closely. It wasn't easy being on almost complete bedrest at home and then at the hospital. The doctors did everything that they could before birth to make sure the twins would be born healthy. My girls were 2#5 oz and 4# 3 oz when born. I was given steroid shots to help their lung development before birth. How about you? Did you have preemies? I'd love to hear your story.

I just read that 13 million babies are born early every year with half a million in the United States. This prematurity is the leading cause of neonatal death. 3 out of 10 moms didn't know the risk that comes with premature birth until they had their first child. I personally knew, before having my twins, that most premature babies have many medical issues that could lead to death. The stats show that 79 percent of preemie moms have a baby who was hospitalized due to severe respiratory infection. 

The particular respiratory infection that causes the most difficulty in preemies is the RSV or respiratory syncytial virus. I learned that nearly ALL children by age of two will get this virus which causes minor symptoms of the common cold. The problem with preemies is that they are at a much higher risk of more serious symptoms because of their underdeveloped lungs and lack of antibodies to fight the infection. This all sounds so scary after the fact for me.
Here are some quick RSV facts & Prevention tips from RSVProtection.com:

RSV Facts:
*RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization
*10 times more infant deaths from RSV vs. the flu
*RSV is more prevalent in the winter months with November-March being the "RSV season"
*Risk factors are premature babies, low birth weight, heart or lung disease and a family history of asthma
*Frequent contact with other children
*Easily spread from touching, sneezing and coughing and it is very contagious

Prevention Tips:
*Wash hands, toys, bedding and play areas frequently
*Have visitors or people who will be touching your baby wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer
*Avoid large crowds or people you know to have been sick
*Don't allow any smoking around your child
*If your baby is in the high risk category, talk to your doctor about preventive therapy.
*If your baby has severe coughing, wheezing or rapid gasping breaths contact your pediatrician immediately.
*If you see blue coloring of the lips, mouth or under the fingernails, contact your pediatrician.
*If your baby has a high fever or is extremely fatigued, contact your pediatrician.

My twins did not get RSV which is totally amazing to me. I didn't know much about it at all. So if you are a soon-to-be mom I hope that this information is helpful to you. If you know of someone who is, please pass this information on to them. Remember you can learn more at RSVProtection.com. If you are on twitter, check the hashtags #protectpreemies #rsv to get more information, too!

 I wrote this review while participating in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

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