Monday, November 19, 2012

MedImmune RSV and Preemie Awareness

Pregnancy brings many worries that you would have never imagined. I always tried to ignore the worries and focus on the excitement of being pregnant, but having a baby isn't always easy. 13 million babies are born early every year in the world, including more than half a million in the United States. November 17th was National Preemie Awareness Day. Preemie babies are born at or before 37 weeks gestation age and are at an increased risk of serious medical complications and regularly face weeks or even months in the NICU. Their immune systems and lungs aren’t fully developed, so they are more likely to develop infections are respiratory issues. One virus parents of preemies should be aware of is respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV.

RSV is fairly common and contracted by nearly all children by the age of 2. It is most likely to be caught between November and March in most of North America. The symptoms in full term babies are usually minor and similar to a cold; however, they can become a severe RSV disease for preemies. Their lungs are simply underdeveloped and they don’t have the antibodies needed to fight off infection. RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, and severe RSV disease causes up to 10 times as many infant deaths as the flu. RSV is very contagious and there is no treatment.

Parents should take preventative measures to keep their children healthy. They should wash their hands, baby's toys, visitors hands, and play areas frequently. Even though it can be hard, it is best to avoid large crowds or anyone who has been sick. Babies should be taken to their doctor if they display any of the symptoms which include severe coughing or wheezing, blue color in the lips or mouth, or high fever and fatigue. My brother was actually full term, but was hospitalized as a baby with severe RSV.

The women in my family seem to have a difficult time getting and staying pregnant, so I was concerned I would have the same issues. Thankfully, I was able to become pregnant easily and carry all three of my babies to term. My mom was not so lucky with me. I was born 6 weeks premature and stopped breathing shortly after birth. My dad was holding me and I turned blue. I ended up being at the hospital for a month with many seizures on top of not being able to keep breathing and my heart stopping. They thought I would be an epileptic, but thankfully the seizures eventually stopped. I was on meds for the first 9 months of my life for them and they kept me awake and cranky - meaning I cried all. the. time. for my parents. I was sick a good bit as a small child and had things such as scarlet fever and fifth disease in addition to the normal illnesses such as colds, flu, and strep throat. My mom recently told me that they were worried the seizures might come back with different stress such as pregnancy, but I carried three babies with no issues. Thankfully I now have no issues other than the heart problems I've had my whole life.

Learn more about RSV and how to protect your babies.

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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17 comments:

Peggy Damon said...

great information! Having babies or kids for that matter is very stressful....I always worried about my children, still do but taking preventive measures can alleviate some of the worry!!

@therebelchick said...

RSV is such a common illness in babies, yet so many have never heard of it! Thank you for helping to raise awareness!

Just Short said...

This is so important for parents to be aware of. Thanks for sharing.

Sofia @ From PDX with Love said...

It is of upmost importance to spread preemie awareness, thanks for doing your part and sharing your experience with us!! Thankfully I didn't have any problems carrying my boys full term.

shelly said...

It's so scary when babies are born early but it's amazing the technology we have to help them! Thanks for sharing.

LOVE MELISSA:) said...

It is so scary when babies are born so early! Thanks for letting us know this information!

hippie_mom said...

RSV can be scary. Thanks for making people aware!

Kim Croisant said...

My GrandSON had it and was in the hospital for about 3 days. He is okay from it. Awareness about this needs to get out. I'd never heard of it until he got it. Thanks for sharing with your readers.

Shannon said...

I am like you - I worried alot during both of my pregnancies. I had no reason to think something would happen to my babies, but I did worry. I was able to enjoy being pregnant and I miss it, but I did worry alot, but I still worry. In my belly, I could protect them more. Our of my belly, they are exposed to more.

Melissa Campeau said...

I had never heard of RSV before... I am happy I read your text because now I am going to be more aware and on the look out for the future! :)

http://livingatthewhiteheadszoo.blogspot.com/ said...

Glad that you've remained problem free and were able to have your three beautiful babies. I had two full term babies and one preemie at 34 weeks. We thankfully did not ever have to deal with RSV though.

Amy Gramelspacher said...

RSV is super scary. I'm thankful my son never got it! Thanks for the info!

kelly willis said...

i had my son 10wks early so he was in nicu for two months he came home for two wks and went back for rsv that is some scary stuff
kellycurtis@rocketmail.com

VickeC said...

As a former Nurse now retired,sometimes it takes a while for some issues to come to light with premies,,but we have come so far,back 50 yr an more ,there wasnt much hope for babies like this

Courtney B said...

its always good to keep people more aware! thanks for sharing!

Melanie F. said...

I had no idea about RSV. Thanks Dee, all parents should know this.

Robin O said...

I really didn't know anything about this. Thank you for sharing the infographic and other details. Preventative measures are definitely essential.

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