World Prematurity Awareness Day November 17th, 2011

World Prematurity Awareness Day November 17th, 2011 1

Expecting a new little one is always an exciting but yet anxious time for families. As we prepare for their entrance, it becomes a time of preparation but when over a half a million babies in America are born premature every year, it becomes a time that many parents are not prepared to face.

What is considered prematurity? Prematurity is “defined” as birth before term, 37 weeks. Being born earlier than this can result in difficulty breathing, being able to feed, and regulate their own body temperatures as crucial development that occurs in womb becomes halted with the early arrival of baby. While many medical advancements have been made to help these little ones thrive and continue necessary growth with appropriate medical care, parents can still find themselves overwhelmed with the necessary medical treatment and risks a premature infant faces.

As an expecting mother of multiples, I know my risk of prematurity is increased for our twins. While no one wants to think about the chance of their child being born premature or facing NICU stays, we know it’s important to be aware and educate ourselves ahead of time so we can keep our boys not only growing as long as we can but we can also prepare for any necessary steps in having not one but two premature babies. One thing that I know is crucial is the risk of developing serious respiratory issues, especially when exposed to RSV.

While many children will contract RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) before the age of two, premature infants lungs are underdeveloped and often fight much harder to fight this virus then full-term babies, sometimes creating a medical emergency causing hospitalization.

World Prematurity Awareness Day November 17th, 2011 2

When it comes to RSV, prevention is the only way to help prevent this nasty virus.

  • Wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently
  • Ensure you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid large crowds and people who may be sick
  • Never let anyone smoke near your baby
  • Speak with your child’s doctor if you believe he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available
Being aware of the signs of RSV are also crucial in getting immediate medical care for your little one.

Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:

  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
  • Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
  • High fever
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Difficulty feeding
The best way to keep our children safe is to stay proactive and educated. It is scary to think that one-third of mothers have never heard of RSV. 

To learn more about RSV, visit  For more about the specialized health needs of preterm infants, visit

“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.”

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  1. Great post! I know about RSV, but found out so much more. Thank you for the info!

  2. I am the mother of a 25 week preemie survivor. It has been a difficult thing having a child premature. The journey doesn’t end when you bring your baby home. My son is now 5.

    Let me just take this opportunity to say that if you see a mom out in public with a little baby, please ask before you touch their child or put your face in the baby’s face. You never know who has had a preemie and for the parent of a preemie, it is a scary thing. You are scared of things like RSV or even other virus and germs. Washing hands or using hand sanitizer is so key. I am a baby lover, but I always ask the mom’s permission. You just never know what folks have been through.

    I had a few people get nasty with me when they acted like it was their God given right to touch my baby or get in my child’s face. I was in the pediatrician’s office one time with my son in the stroller completely covered and a grandmother who didn’t want to watch her grand daughter sent her over to “see the baby”. I politely told her my son was born early and he was covered up to protect him from germs and we would not be visiting. She was so nasty about it. And with the hell I had been through to fight for my son’s life, I wasn’t going to let some inconsiderate person bully me and get their way.

    I’m glad for this reminder that Nov 17th is prematurity awareness day. I’ve blogged about my experience in the past and hope to do it again. My wish is that no mother would have to go through what I’ve experienced with having a preemie.

  3. I have many friends who’ve had preemies – actually one was a 27 weeker! He’s doing great. But people do need to be aware that it can happen and it’s not just a ‘smaller baby’ – it’s a very delicate little being that needs a lot of medical attention. Thanks for bringing awareness!

  4. Great post! My daughter had rsv when she was little. It is so scary. Thanks for bring awareness.

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