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World Prematurity Day and RSV Awareness for Preemies

RSV Infographic“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.”

Nov. 17 is World Prematurity Day and as a mom, I want to take the time to raise awareness and educate other parents or parents-to-be about the specialized health needs preterm babies require. The current prematurity rate in the U.S. is 12.2 percent, one of the highest rates of preterm birth in the world! Even more alarming is that rates have risen by 36 percent over the last 25 years.

Despite the alarming statistics, many parents still aren’t aware of the risks of being born too soon- the leading cause of neonatal death. While both of my children weren’t preemies, I definitely didn’t know about RSV. Parents of preemies need to be educated and prepared to protect these vulnerable babies.

Prematurity is defined as birth at or before 37 weeks gestation. 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. With winter around the corner, now is the perfect time to remind parents of preemies about one seasonal virus that poses a threat to infants: RSV.

Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV is a common seasonal virus contracted by nearly all children by age two, and typically causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms in healthy, full-term babies. However, preterm infants are born with underdeveloped lungs and immature immune systems that put them at heightened risk for developing severe RSV disease, often requiring hospitalization.

There are several signs and symptoms that can easily be detected and many ways to protect preemies from RSV. Read all about the symptoms, what to look for and ways to protect your baby by going to (sponsored) for more info. After reading through the symptoms, I was surprised at how common this disease is and it pretty much sounds like a cold. I know I will be sharing everything I have learned with every new mom I know and moms-to-be as well.

I hope you do the same. You could save a life!


Written by

Debbie Bookstaber started Mamanista in 2007 with her friend Candace Lindemann. Debbie and Candace also are the co-founders of, which empowers bloggers to become philanthropic leaders in their communities. Through their annual awards, recognizes bloggers who effectively use social media for social good. Debbie lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her husband and two young sons. She's an active volunteer in her community and a working mom. Debbie is a partner at Element Associates and the Social Media Director at Child's Play Communications. You can follow Debbie on Twitter @buzzmommy or meet her at a future blogging or tech conference, where she frequently speaks about social good efforts, SEO or affiliate marketing.

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