There's a good reason many new moms try to keep their babies from being exposed to a lot of people until they are a bit older. Those people are bound to carry viruses and if it happens to be RSV, it can be deadly. I know people who have had newborns in the hospital and on respirators because they contracted RSV. It's just not worth it-especially if your baby is born during cold and flu season. Here's one thing you can do to prevent your baby from getting RSV.
FROM NBC: Pregnant women who take vitamin D can prevent a respiratory illness in newborns called RSV. That's the finding of a new study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics. The study suggests that out of the 5-million RSV cases every year in the United States, a million fewer kids would get the respiratory virus if more pregnant moms took vitamin D supplements.
Mikensi Gilbert is six months pregnant. She's been taking vitamin D supplements for this pregnancy. Mikensi Gilbert/Expectant Mom: "It helps with fatigue. It helps with, um, energy." Her first pregnancy was tough. so her mom, who reads a lot of medical studies, recommended she boost her vitamin D intake. Mikensi Gilbert/Expectant Mom: "She knows that I had a difficult time with jae with my pregnancy. I think she was just thinking of me."
Gilbert had gestational diabetes with her son, Jae. This time she's expecting a smoother pregnancy. Mikensi Gilbert/Expectant Mom: "Just had our ultrasound reports read to me yesterday and everything's good. He's healthy. He's growing like he should."
She hopes by taking vitamin D, she can keep him from getting RSV once he's born. Dr. Marcus Blackburn/Pediatrician: "Vitamin D plays a large role in very many systems of the body." Dr. Marcus Blackburn says as for how effective vitamin D is in preventing RSV, it's hard to say. Dr. Marcus Blackburn/Pediatrician: "It's very common. Most children are going to get it by the time they're two. All kids have been exposed to it."
The symptoms mimic a cold. And Blackburn says taking vitamin D may just reduce the severity of RSV in infants. "Vitamin D is not the cure-all for respiratory and other health problems, but doctor's say it's still very important for overall health. just how much to take, though, is still up for debate."
Dr. Marcus Blackburn/Pediatrician: "Right now in this study they quote it as 400 international units. so, that's the same as a newborn child. Although there have been studies that have shown up to four thousand international units. Vitamin D is something that you can have toxicity from so that's something that we're still working out." Blackburn recommends all pregnant women check with their doctor on how much vitamin D to take along with other prenatal vitamins.