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.
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
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
“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.”