MedImmune RSV & Preemie Awareness #protectpreemies #rsv

I am so blessed to have gone through 7 pregnancies and have 6 healthy children, with another one on the way. But, getting them to a safe delivery date wasn’t always easy. I have had my share of preterm labor, bedrest, and other difficult pregnancy experiences. I remember several times as I was lying in a hospital bed while doctors tried everything in their power to keep labor from progressing anymore before my baby was strong enough to be born. And that’s why this campaign is so important to me. I believe every mom-to-be should be aware of  the dangers associated with babies born before 37 weeks.

It’s easy to get to the third trimester and joke that you are ready to be done pregnant. But, all joking aside, preemies are prone to infections from viruses like the common cold, the flu, and RSV, and the longer you can keep that baby inside you, the better it will be for him or her.

When I worked in day care, I had the joy of working in the infant room. I adored each of those babies, and because I spent so much time with them, we developed a real bond. And then one day, Jack didn’t come in to the center. And then another day passed, and still no Jack. On day 3, his mom finally called and told us that Jack was in the hospital in critical condition with something called RSV. You see, Jack was a preemie, and the disease was just too strong for his little body to fight.

At the time, I had no idea what RSV was, or how harmful it could be to infants. I now know that RSV (or Respiratory Syncytial Virus) typically shows up as minor symptoms in babies, but in high-risk infants, it can quickly develop into a serious infection that can be very hard for them to fight.

Jack ended up spending nearly 3 weeks in the hospital, just trying to survive having RSV. When he was finally released from the hospital, it took several months before he was declared “healthy” again. It broke my heart watching him struggle every day, and I was so thankful when he finally got past it. Ever since that experience with Jack, I have tried to be very aware of symptoms in my own children.

November 17th was World Prematurity Day. The day is set aside to raise awareness about prematurity and all of the risks associated with pre-term birth. I want to take a moment and share some facts about RSV with you:

RSV Quick Facts

  • RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, and severe RSV disease causes up to 10 times as many infant deaths each year as the flu.
  • RSV is most prevalent during the winter months. The CDC has defined the “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
  • In addition to prematurity, common risk factors include low birth weight, certain lung or heart diseases, a family history of asthma and frequent contact with other children.

Prevention is Key
RSV is very contagious and can be spread easily through touching, sneezing and coughing. Since there’s no treatment for RSV, parents should take the following preventive steps to help protect their child:

  • 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 are or have been sick
  • Never let anyone smoke near your baby
  • Speak with your child’s doctor if he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available

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

  • Severe coughing, wheezing or rapid gasping breaths
  • Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
  •  High fever and extreme fatigue

Because I have a baby due in February, you can bet I will be taking extra precautions to ensure her safety during the remainder of RSV season. I hope that those of you who have recently had babies – or are expecting soon – will also take a few minutes to educate yourself about RSV and the potential risks associated with pre-term birth.

To learn more about RSV, visit www.rsvprotection.com and for more about the specialized health needs of preterm infants, visit www.preemievoices.com.

Disclaimer: 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.

Gage at 11 Months Old

Gage 11 Months

I simply cannot believe that Gage is 11 months old today. In exactly one month, we will be celebrating his first birthday. I guess I should get started on some party plans, since I’ve already invited people – just haven’t done much past that. 🙂

Gage is such a fun baby. I’m amazed at how different each of my kids really are. Gage is Mr. Independent. He holds his own bottles, likes to feed himself, {because I just can’t feed him fast enough!}, and would rather crawl where he wants to go than to be held.

He hasn’t eaten baby food in months. He’s strictly on table food now, and he eats everything we eat. You’d never know he only had 8 teeth, because he’ll eat anything you put in his mouth.

He doesn’t talk much yet. Mama, Dada, bye-bye, and ba-ba are about the extent of his vocabulary. But, boy, has he finally caught up with the gross motor skills. He trucks around the house all day long, and he loves trying to walk along anything he can hold onto. {Just don’t try to hold his hands and make him walk. Not Mr. Independent.}

My baby boy is certainly growing up. I wish I could just bottle time – or at least slow it down a little.

Low Iron Infant Formula

I am having such a hard time finding Low Iron Infant Formula. It is impossible to find!

Ok, wait. I did find some on Amazon, but you have to buy an entire case of it. I cannot afford $150 for formula – especially if I don’t know how well Gage will take it.

My milk production has been horrible this time around. With all of my other kids, I produced an abundance of milk, and eventually had to throw away hundreds of ounces of frozen breastmilk. (I wish I had known how to sell breastmilk back then! I could have made a fortune!)

With Gage, I am barely producing anything. The child nurses all day, and still acts like he’s starving. I’ve done everything I can think of to help produce more milk, but nothing is working. It’s heartbreaking. When I give Gage a bottle of formula, he acts like he’s in heaven. His belly finally gets full, and he’s as happy as can be.

But, the formula is causing him to be constipated. Big time. He gets horrible belly aches and won’t do a “doo” for days.

I know it’s the iron in the formula. Ashley had the same problem when she was a baby, so I had to switch to low iron infant formula. Back then, it was so easy to find!

We live in the sticks, and it’s impossible to find anything, but I cannot find low iron infant formula anywhere. My husband works at a grocery store, so he’s contacted their offices to see if they can order some. We still haven’t heard anything back and it’s been weeks.

Can you find low iron infant formula in your area? Have you ever even had the need to look?

It’s beyond frustrating when you can’t find what your baby needs….