Let's Do Our Part To Raise Awareness for Premature Delivery & RSV #protectpreemies #rsv

 When pregnant with Josiah, I thought he would never makes his appearance.  In fact, he was several days late and, when he finally decided to make his debut, he was almost 9 pounds! I remember thinking several times throughout the pregnancy how I could barely wait to finally meet him and, towards the end of the pregnancy, I just wanted it to be over because I was so big. However, I didn't know what having a preemie would entail and all the risks that are associated with it. Then came Liam... 5 weeks early. Although he was over 7 pounds when born, his lungs were not fully developed. This caused my poor boy to struggle with breathing, so he was held in the NICU and eventually had to be intubated for 2 days. 
My Little Man only hours after his birth.

Did you know that worldwide over 13 million babies are born prematurely, including half a million of which are born in the US? It is such a scary experience for both the baby and for the parents and something I wish I'd considered a possibility with repercussions ahead of time. Eventually his little lungs caught up and he was released after two weeks. We were very lucky, but in the meantime, we were lucky enough to take a parenting class all about preemature birth and taking care of our newborn preemie. It was eye opening and a class I wished all parents were required to take before leaving the hospital.  

When I hear parents wishing to go into labor at 35 weeks now, I think of it in a completely different way. Unfortunately, many parents do not know much about the possibility of premature delivery and the medical complications that can ensue. That is why November 17th is so very important! November 17th is National Preemie Awareness Day, a day dedicated to educating parents about the possibility of preterm delivery and the risks involved. Just like many parents, we never expected a premature delivery and I couldn't help but feel completely helpless and fearful for my child. Education is key to helping parents learn about premature delivery. 
When Liam was able to come home, we were so excited, especially because this was the first time Josiah finally got to meet his little brother. However, we weren't really able to show him off for a while because, as a preemie, he was susceptible to germs, infection and respiratory issues. One of the things we learned about in our preemie class was RSV, a virus effecting almost all babies by the age of two. Being a preemie and contracting RSV is so very dangerous for their fragile immune systems. We were lucky and very careful with Liam, but there were other preemies in the NICU who were not as lucky. Did you know severe cases of RSV are up to 10 times more likely to end in death than the fly? It's a very scary fact. Click here for more information from the RSV Protection website.
Liam all grown up as a monkey this Halloween!

It is more important from November to March, named the "RSV Season" by the CDC, to be mindful about the possibility of RSV. How are some ways you can help prevent RSV? One of the easiest things we can do is wash our hands and keep them clean. We actually kept hand sanitizer in almost every room when we brought Liam home. You can also wipe down toys and keep play areas clean. We use a great deal of anti-bacterial spray and wipes, wanting to provide a clean and safe play room for the kids. Also, as I mentioned earlier, we kept Liam inside and away from big crowds as a preemie and, since he is now undergoing chemotherapy, we are also doing the same because of his weak immune system. 

What do you do to protect your children from RSV? 

 Please be mindful of these ways to help prevent RSV and let your friends know the risks associated with preemature delivery. I wish I'd known more about it ahead of time, but now that I do know from my own experiences, I think it's so important to teach others. We should celebrate Preemie Awareness Day and RSV Prevention year-round by teaching others about both subjects. 

  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.


Shannon Ro said...

Thank you for the article. My son was born at 36 weeks. We struggled to get him to eat and gain weight but I feel very blessed he held in there long enough to avoid any major complications. Thank you for raising awareness!

jill24295 said...

I had never even heard of RSV until I worked in the ER about 2 years ago. Granted, as an EMT we usually see traumas or cardiac cases, but I was surprised how contagious this disease actually was. Thanks for helping to raise awareness through the post.

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