Tomorrow, November 17, is Preemie Awareness Day. In an effort to save more babies, this day recognizes the problems that many infants face when they are born premature. Worldwide, 13 million babies come into this world each year, yet 3 in 10 moms didn’t realize they could have a premature baby before their first child was born.
It is important that everyone becomes more aware of prematurity and the special considerations preemies may need. Start by knowing the definition of prematurity – being born at or before 37 weeks gestation. Arriving this early can heavily affect the baby’s development, especially of the more important organs. This can require weeks or even months of staying in the NICU.
World Prematurity Day was began to help expecting parents, or even those trying to conceive, understand the possibility of and risks associated with pre-term births. Because many are born before their lungs are fully developed, preemies are at risk for a number of respiratory problems.
One common illness for preemies is respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV for short. Almost all babies will contract RSV by their second birthday. Most will have nothing more than symptoms that mirror the common cold. For preemies, however, because their lungs are underdeveloped, they stand a much greater chance of developing serious complications from RSV.
The following infographic contains lots of helpful facts about RSV.
Writing this post really hits home for me because my little brother was affected by RSV when he was 10 months old. Though he wasn’t born premature, he had to stay in the hospital for five days, with much of that time being spent in a “croup tent” to help relieve the congestion in his lungs. I was 11 years old at the time, and I can remember how pitiful he looked, and how his breathing had a rattling sound.
For more information on RSV and how you can protect your little ones this winter season, visit RSVProtection.com. Please forward this link or post on to other expecting moms or those who have infants. It’s important to spread the awareness of prematurity and RSV’s effects on young 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.