Disclosure – I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for MedImmune. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.
When my quadruplets were born eight years ago they were eight weeks premature. The two girls spent two weeks in NICU and the boys spent four weeks in NICU before we could bring them home. They usually take pictures of babies at the hospital but they waited to take this one until the babies were just about ready to go home and didn’t have all sorts of tubes sticking out of them anymore. It was a pretty scary time for us and we spent that first month visiting the hospital several times each day and scrubbing up thoroughly before we were allowed in to see the kids.
I didn’t realize that 13 million babies are born prematurely each year around the world, and more than one million preemies have died just this year from the serious health challenges they face.
There were several babies in the hospital while we were there with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common seasonal virus, contracted by nearly all children by the age of two, that 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.
I had never heard of RSV disease before having premature babies and we had a bit of a struggle getting visitors to understand that we weren’t just being overprotective parents when we asked people to take extra precautions before handling the babies. We were thrilled that people wanted to see them and believe me, more than happy to hand them over for a few minutes to friends and family who wanted to help out with feeding and changing them, but we also had to insist that people take proper precautions with our precious bundles.
In honor of World Prematurity Day November 17th I wanted to bring you this information and share the infographic below: