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Making it through pregnancy and then the birth of your baby feels like the biggest accomplishment! Our birth story included some complications so when we were finally on our way home there was this huge sense of responsibility. I remember being somewhat scared even. The thought came to mind, “The doctors and nurses have helped us keep her alive and well. But now we are headed home and we get to do that on our own now!” They tell you a lot of things that you need to know before you leave the hospital, but one thing I soon realized was they do not tell moms what you must know about RSV.
At two months old Little Sis became congested and started coughing. She suddenly started sleeping way more too. At the time I was counting my blessing for the extra sleep. I didn’t realize it was lethargy from being sick. We took her into the doctor who said it was a cold but told us some things about RSV to keep an eye out for.
What you must know about RSV:
I learned that RSV is actually quite common and is a highly contagious seasonal virus that is usually spread from November through March. RSV leads to a mild respiratory infection with symptoms similar to the common cold or flu, but in some cases get much worse.
What you must know about RSV symptoms:
Little Sis started out with congestion and a cough along with being extra sleepy. She never had a fever, but that is a common symptom as well. (With little ones under three months if the fever is 100.4 or higher it is of concern.) About another 5 days after seeing the doctor originally Little Sis started wheezing. It almost sounded like she was whistling a little when she breathed. And the skin right where her neck seems to connect with her collar bones would cave in a bit with each breathe. We could tell it was hard for her to breathe. We took her back in where they gave us an inhaler and some other at home tips to help her.
I was very scary to see our baby struggling to breathe! I slept in the same room with her for about two weeks to ensure she was breathing through out the night. It was a stressful situation.
What you must know about RSV prevention:
There are no current treatment options available for the actual virus only to help them breathe better so it is important that parents are aware of prevention methods. The best prevention is supporting keeping the germs away from your little ones. That means people washing hands before interacting with baby, cleaning toys and surfaces the baby is in contact with and keeping your little one away from crowds and people who have been sick.
The best prevention tip we have implemented has been to have our older daughter, Miss M, who is three give Little Sis kisses on her feet rather than her face. We implemented this from day one coming home from the hospital. This works well for young siblings or young family members who come to visit.
What to know more?
October is National RSV awareness month so I have partnered up with LittleLungs.com to help parents become aware of RSV. Check out their website to find out more information.
Beyond our birthing complications dealing with RSV has been the scariest thing we have dealt with as parents. I hope you take the time to educate yourself on how to prevent it and what the symptoms are.
Until Next Time- Truly Love,