Julie Green: The Other Side of the Coin


Protecting Your Premature Baby

What You Need to Know About Preemies

Premature birth is a serious and very common health issue. In the US alone, almost half a million babies are born prematurely each year—that's around 1 in every 8 babies. Figures in Canada are also staggeringly high.

What you may not know is that with prematurity comes a greater risk of a myriad health and developmental problems. Since these teeny babies can't speak for themselves, it's up to us to advocate for them. November is designated as Prematurity Awareness Month. 

As a preemie's lung volume is around half of that of a full-term infant, the latter is more susceptible to pneumonia and/or bronchiolitis (swelling of the lower airways).

A contagious respiratory virus called RSV can compromise a baby's lungs and breathing passages, resulting in hospitalization for infants under the age of one. This condition is especially dangerous for preemies whose lungs haven't been totally developed at birth.

Though RSV can be contracted year-round, it tends to spike in the winter before dropping in early spring. 

RSV symptoms to watch for: 

  • Coughing, sneezing, and fever that does not stop
  • Fast or troubled breathing
  • A fever (especially greater than 100.4°F in infants under 3 months of age)
  • Not feeding well
  • Bluish lips
  • Lethargy

Preemies with RSV can develop further complications, including chronic lung disease of prematurity (CLDP).

Tips for RSV Prevention:

Visit Preemie Voices and RSV Protection for further information on how to protect your baby.