Life as expectant parents is joyous and celebratory. In most cases babies arrive on time, healthy and ready to head home with Mom and Dad. But for the more than half a million American babies born prematurely each year, this often isn’t the case. I felt it was important to be a part of RSV/Preemie Awareness because I’ve been one of these statistics. I had a baby born at 30 weeks, and sadly for our family she wasn’t able to survive due to her many structural and congenital defects. Many parents of preterm infants are unprepared for the special medical care preemies often require. I knew ahead of time our little girl was going to have a rough time, but still, it was overwhelming. My doctors did discuss many of the issues she would be facing, so I was somewhat prepared.
Despite recent slight declines in rates of prematurity, 1,400 babies are still born prematurely in the United States every day, and 13 million babies are affected by prematurity around the world. At birth preemies often have difficulty breathing, feeding and maintaining temperature. Preemies are often more likely to develop infections and are more susceptible to respiratory problems, due to their immature immune systems.
Nearly every baby contracts Respiratory Syncytial Virus – RSV by age two. In most full-term babies, symptoms are similar to that of the common cold, and parents may be unaware their infant has RSV. However, in the pre-term infant, these symptoms are much more severe and often require hospitalization due to the infection. Parents need to be informed about their child’s risk factors.
I’m including a few very informative websites for you readers to look at, so you can be appropriately informed about RSV. They include RSV Quick Facts, Prevention Methods (think handwashing!); And Symptom Awareness.
The best thing expectant parents can do is to be informed. Health care professionals are there to help, but parents must be the first source for infant protection.
“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”