RSV Awareness Campaign

"BABY'S BREATH"


Message from Maureen Doolan Boyle Executive Director of MOST (Mothers of Supertwins) parent organization of PreemieCare:
2001-2002 Campaign

I am the mother of 5 children, three of whom are triplets. My triplets were born in 1987 and were very healthy although several months premature. When they were born my oldest child, Meggie, was 2 ½ . Because of my lack of knowledge and need for support in parenting multiples I became one of the founding members of MOST (Mothers of Supertwins) which has supported thousands of families internationally over the past 14 yrs. During the first winter as a mother of premature babies no one ever mentioned to me that there was a common respiratory virus that could cause very serious complications, especially to babies who were born preterm. I later learned that since my babies were multiples they were at greater risk and because they had an older sibling the risk was even greater. No one ever told us how we might prevent it or how to recognize the signs and symptoms or what sort of impact this virus might have on a family. My children had RSV that first winter and developed complications from it. Once I learned what it was I and MOST became ardent supporters of educating families about RSV.

Over the past decade we feel that we have made some headway in educating parents of multiples about RSV but we knew that the general public still had very little information on what it was. RSV is a virus that affects your entire community not just families with a baby who is born at risk. Maybe your sister or a co-worker is the parent of a preemie or maybe it is a family at your daycare center or they may belong to your church. Maybe you have never even met the parents but they have an older child in your son's nursery school class or your granddaughter baby-sits for them. It is the responsibility of each of us to learn what we can do to prevent it's spread and to lessen the severity to babies who are most at risk for complications from it. It was because of this that MOST developed a division of our organization that is based toward the needs of all parents of preemies- PreemieCare. The mission of PreemieCare is to support and educate parents of babies born preterm and in particular to address RSV awareness and prevention. Our national survey showed us that even if a parent has heard of RSV that the vast majority of them still do not know what it is or how to protect their babies from it.

Helping us this year in our 2001-02 RSV Awareness Campaign BABY'S BREATH is Dr. Paula Elbirt who is a pediatric pulmonologist and the author of a wonderful book entitled Dr. Paula's House Calls to your Newborn.
Also assisting us in this year's campaign is Holly Robinson Peete. She is an acclaimed television actress presently starring in the new WB romantic comedy For Your Love. Holly is also the mother of twins.

PreemieCare
P.O. Box 306
(631) 859-1110
East Islip, NY 11730
info@preemiecare.org