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Learn The Risks About Preterm Birth - #RSVawareness - World Prematurity Day!

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of (#MC) for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

I have been hearing about RSV more frequently, for the past couple of years. I briefly read about it while I was pregnant, but I didn't grasp the seriousness of it until my children were out of toddlerhood.

It's amazing how things will stick through repetition. When I do get pregnant again, this is something I will never forget, so I can take the appropriate actions to protect my baby.

What do you know about RSV?

World Prematurity Day is November 17th: Learn the Risks Associated with Preterm Birth

As parents welcome new babies into the world, it’s a time full of excitement, joy, learning and new experiences. Most parents are able to bring their healthy newborn babies home from the hospital soon after birth, but parents of premature babies may not be so lucky, as preterm birth can come with complications, often requiring special medical attention.

When my first child was born, I was unprepared for the demands and all the hospital staff would be doing with and around me. 
I went into emergency surgery for the baby's sake and didn't even wake up from general anesthesia until the evening. 
I remember how worried I was with the hopes of nursing my baby enough so that his weight would stay up.  I know it's not the same as pereterm birth but I felt the same fears and uncertainty.

That uncertainty followed me home.  So it is good to have a support system in place when you have  a newborn, and especially so if your child is needing continued care because of preterm birth or other medical issues. 

Each year worldwide, 13 million babies are born prematurely, and more than one million preemies have died just this year from the serious health challenges they face. The current rate of prematurity in the United States is 12.2 percent—one of the highest rates of preterm birth in the world. Even more alarming is that the rates have risen by 36 percent over the last 25 years. Despite these overwhelming numbers, many parents still aren’t aware of the risks of being born too soon—the leading cause of neonatal death. In fact, a recent survey found that 75 percent of parents don’t know the definition of prematurity (birth at or before 37 weeks gestation), and during prenatal care, most pregnant women don’t ask their healthcare provider about the risk of delivering prematurely and the potential consequences of preterm birth for their child.

I'm surprised at the very high number of preterm birth here in the US where medicine and informational media is so prevalent. I would expect such percentages to be more prevalent in 3rd world countries. 
As a pregnant mom, I read everything I could during my pregnancy and ensure to write things down that I wanted my doctor to give more light on. 
While mothers need the information, we also have to be proactive in finding out what to expect in each phase of coming into parenthood. 

As preemies often have specialized health needs, it’s important to raise awareness of the increased risks that often come with premature birth. In the time leading up to November 17—World Prematurity Day—we’re hoping to educate all parents about the potential risks associated with preterm births, so parents of preemies are prepared to help protect these vulnerable babies. Since prematurity disrupts a baby’s development in the womb and often stunts the growth of their most critical organs, preemies are susceptible to a variety of illnesses and infections, especially during the winter months. As we head into November, it’s a perfect time to remind parents—especially parents of preemies—about one seasonal virus that poses a threat to infants.
RSV: A Risk to Preemies 
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common seasonal virus, contracted by nearly all children by the age of two, and typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in healthy, full-term babies. Preterm infants, however, are born with undeveloped lungs and immature immune systems that put them at heightened risk for developing severe RSV disease, often requiring hospitalization.
  • RSV infection is more likely to root in premature lungs where developing airways are narrowed and especially fragile
  • Preterm babies carry fewer virus-fighting antibodies—a precious gift from mom that all infants need while their own immune systems mature after birth 
Key RSV Facts:
  • RSV occurs in epidemics each year, typically from November through March, though it can vary by geography and year-to-year
  • RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life in the United States, with approximately 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 400 infant deaths each year
  • RSV disease is responsible for one of every 13 pediatrician visits and one of every 38 trips to the ER in children under the age of five
  • Despite being so common, many parents aren’t aware of RSV; in fact, one-third of mothers have never heard of the virus
Learn the Symptoms of Severe RSV Disease:
Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
  • Persistent coughing or wheezing
  • Bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
  • Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
  • Fever [especially if it is over 100.4°F (rectal) in infants under 3 months of age]
How Can I Help Protect My Baby From RSV?
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Additionally, the virus can live on the skin and surfaces for hours. There is no treatment for RSV disease once it’s contracted, so prevention is critical. To help minimize the spread of RSV disease, all parents should:
  • Wash their hands and ask others to do the same
  • Keep toys, clothes, blanket and sheets clean
  • Avoid crowds and other young children during RSV season
  • Never let anyone smoke around your baby
  • Steer clear of people who are sick or who have recently been sick
Speak to your child’s pediatrician to determine if your baby is at high risk for RSV disease, and if so, what additional steps may be recommended. For more information about RSV and prevention, visit

Do you know of anyone who had to handle RSV? Are you more aware of risks involved with RSV now?

Tweet: What Do You Know About RSV? Learn The Risks About Preterm Birth. Share. #RSVawareness #MC - World Prematurity Day

“I participated in a campaign on behalf of (#MC) for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.”

Colette is a busy mom of 2 kids focusing solely on being a mom. She hails from the Caribbean and now balances the full life of being a SAHM and dabbling in odd jobs to help around the home. She enjoys sharing her memories, hopes, food, travel, entertainment, and product experiences on her blog. Please read my disclosure 
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  1. Repetition really does make things stick, and it's nice that you're doing your part to share this information.

  2. When my youngest had meningitis when he was 2 months I worried so much about him catching RSV in the hospital. It's scary to!

    1. I'm so glad all turned out well.
      Thank you for sharing Alissa.

  3. Oh my! I will forward this post to my niece -in- law, she had a very premature baby recently…it was not even 3 pounds…thanks!

    1. That is so hard.
      I hope this gives her some help with information.



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