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RSV Prevention  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Life as expectant parents is joyous and celebratory. In most cases, babies arrive on time, healthy and ready to head home with Mom and Dad. But for the more than half a million American babies born prematurely each year, this often isn’t the case. Many parents of preterm infants are unprepared for the special medical care preemies often require. According to a March of Dimes survey, this is because most expecting parents don’t discuss preterm birth with their doctor during prenatal care, even if they are at high risk. On November 17 - World Prematurity Day - we’re hoping to help change this.

Despite recent slight declines in rates of prematurity, 1,400 babies are still born prematurely in the United States every day, and 13 million babies are affected by prematurity around the world. Prematurity, defined as being born before 37 weeks completed gestation, disrupts a baby’s development in the womb, often stunting the growth of some of the body’s most critical organs. At birth, preemies often have difficulty with breathing, feeding and maintaining temperature. Because their immune systems haven’t had time to fully mature, preterm infants are more likely to develop infections, and because their lungs are underdeveloped, they are more susceptible to respiratory problems.

For example, nearly every baby contracts respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by age two. In most full-term babies, symptoms are similar to those of the common cold and parents may not even know their child has the virus. However, because they don’t have the antibodies needed to fight off infection, preterm infants—even those born just a few weeks early—are at increased risk for developing an RSV-related infection, often requiring medical attention or hospitalization. Parents should speak with their pediatrician to find out if their baby is at high risk for developing severe RSV disease, and how they can prevent against RSV this winter.

RSV Quick Facts:
·         RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.
·         RSV occurs in epidemics each fall through spring. The CDC has defined “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
·         Certain regions have longer RSV seasons than others, with the season beginning as early as July (e.g., Florida) or ending in April.
·         Despite its prevalence, one-third of mothers have never heard of RSV.

Prevention is Key:
There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to 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 may be sick
·         Never let anyone smoke near your baby
·         Speak with your child’s doctor if you believe he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available

Be Aware of Symptoms:
Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:
·         Persistent coughing or wheezing
·         Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
·         Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
·         High fever
·         Extreme fatigue
·         Difficulty feeding

To learn more about RSV, visit  For more about the specialized health needs of preterm infants, visit      

Disclaimer: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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Gracefully Green Baby  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Are you looking for baby products? Check out Gracefully Green Baby!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

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Mamavation Monday  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mamavation Sistahood

Wow! It's been three years since I've been exposed to Leah Segedie and Mamavation - sitting on the sidelines, knowing I needed to lose weight, to get healthier. Knowing that I wanted to do more - HAD to do more.

Today, I'm making my first Mamavation Monday post. This is my pledge to be a part of the Mamavation Sistahood.

The funny part of this is that I've lost about 60 lbs. on my own in the past year. A year ago, I was in a size 22 and weighed over 250 lbs. Talk about embarrassing!

From the age of 14, through having 3 children, up until 2-3 years ago, I was a size 14. I was happy with that, even though I wasn't the healthiest, but I knew I've always been bigger and if I was the same size through having children, I was happy with that. Ultimately, I'd love to be in a size 10/12. Even a size 8 would be nice - but then I think I would be too skinny.

I put on the weight after I had my gallbladder taken out and was out of work for almost a year. Luckily, since I've been back to work, I started losing weight again. I have also changed the items I buy at the grocery store, the food I cook, and the frequency of my meals. I eat more fresh produce and protein, and I limit my red meat intake. I used to never eat breakfast, and now I make sure I have something to eat in the morning - even if it's a cup of yogurt.


This week's Mamavation Monday topic is to discuss how Type 2 Diabetes has touched my life. Personally, I have only had friends who have Type 2 Diabetes, but being overweight, I do think about Diabetes, and knowing that it is something I do not want to have in my life - now or later.

I had a roommate a few years back, and he had Type 2 Diabetes. We worked together, and once we started living together, I found myself watching what he ate at lunch and at home. In general, since he was Indian, he ate very well. He was a vegetarian, due to his religious beliefs, but sometimes, he would eat an apple or a cookie, and those items could make his blood sugar rise. Every evening, I would ask him what his blood sugar was. I worried, and was concerned that one day I would have to call 911 for him.

Luckily, that never happened, and even though I don't speak to him anymore, I think of him often and wonder how he is doing.

How has Type 2 Diabetes affected you?

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Better’n Eggs and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women.

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Family Photo Days from Shutterfly  

There are so many companies out there that you can select to customize your family Christmas cards. This can be a daunting task, especially when trying to find the perfect photo.

Inevitably, you're going to have one person looking away while the photo is being taken - you may have one person laughing - you may have another looking agitated.

The photo above is one of the tries for our family Christmas card in 2010. We tried three different photos and each time, someone was doing something different in the photo. In one, I was so agitated, I looked plain MEAN! I finally chose the photo above to be our family photo, because it captured the rawness of our family. Everyone looks happy in the photo, and in the end, it turned out to be a great photo (when modified to black and white). I love that the children are laughing in the photo, and I truly look happy.

Shutterfly Family Photo Days is an initiative created to help families get their photos ready for their holiday cards. Family Photo Days begins in November and include the following activities to aid you in your goal: a perfect family photo:

  •   Digital toolkit posted online (with possible physical components as well for partner programs)
  •   House parties (sponsor hosts to create their own Family Picture Day out of their homes)
  • (sponsor mother’s groups around the country to congregate and take family photos   for their holiday cards)
  •  Video, Photos, blogger involvement (and/or other viral and social components)
  •  Facebook tie-in – ads, sponsored stories
  •  Contest/Promotion with a goal of driving excitement and awareness of Family Photo Day and Family Photo Day events – 5 winners based on type of photo – best funny family photo, most unique family photo, etc.

Are you ready to get your holiday photos done? Hopefully this post and the Family Photo Days initiative will help you get ready sooner! Good luck!

Disclaimer: I am participating in a blog tour promoting Shutterfly's Family Photo Days through Global Influence. I will receive 50 free holiday cards for my involvement in this project.

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What's on your Bucket List?  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

All of us have heard of a bucket list - probably since the movie of the same name came out back in the year 2007.

I have long thought about what I want to do before I die. (Have you?)

Here's the top 15 things I would like to do before I die:
1. Sky-dive
2. Bungee jump
3. Travel to France
4. Travel to Italy
5. Travel to Alaska
6. Travel to Africa
7. Learn to sail
8. Take a cruise
9. See whales of all types: Orcas, humpbacks, sperm - you name it
10. Meet my great-grandchildren
11. Travel to Alabama and meet some of my family
12. Get a Master's degree
13. Go on a ghost hunt
14. Start my own business
15. Swim with the dolphins

What's on your bucket list?

This is my entry in the Just Ask Bucket List Getaway Giveaway. Just Ask offers a breast and ovarian cancer screening and is encouraging people to share 15 things that I want to enjoy in my lifetime as a reminder to be aware of my health. Want to enter? Head over to to get the details. 

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