Becoming a mum is a lesson in worrying. There is always something to panic about from the moment you first realise your pregnant till I should imagine the time you eventually take your last breath. Our children might often drive us slightly crackers but they are our world, our pride and joy! They bring meaning to every day. So understandably we want to keep them safe and protected.
I did not know about something called CMV (Cytomegalovirus) until a PR friend asked would I share some information about it. Having read up more about it, I realise its something well worth taking precautions against. I had just shy of a 21 months gap between my two boys so I probably could have been more careful, but like many others I was clueless about CMV, no one ever mentioned it or told me to do anything differently to help avoid it.
My precious first born.
But young children can pass it on to pregnant ladies, so if you have a child already and are pregnant or you work around children you do need to be more vigilant. Fortunately simple precautions make all the difference, such as carefully washing your hands after most tasks involving other children that you work or live with. It is a common disorder with 1 in 150 newborn’s being affected and sadly it also one of the reasons for miscarriage.
CMV invades the immune system, so this can obviously be quite dangerous; apparently even healthy babies have gone on to have permanent disabilities, so a few basic precautions are well worth taking when you consider the bigger picture. Some of the problems can be hearing loss, autism, physical and motor impairment, learning difficulties and visual impairment, given how much of an impact it can have on your child’s life its quite scary how little mum’s know about it.
Although I am not sure I could have kept to just kissing my adorable toddler on his forehead, he loved to be covered in kisses. But it is safer to focus your kisses there and avoid the mouth/nose area, given what I know now I would have gladly changed my habits to keep my unborn baby safe at the time, especially if you consider 1 in a 1000 babies in the UK will suffer a severe disability having contracted CMV in utero.
Also try not to share food/drinks with children; obviously it’s hard to resist a cute toddler offering you a raisin from their plate but feed it to the soft toy instead (then wash your hands!). CMV Action just want us all to be more aware of the risks and try to reduce them, these changes will help protect future babies.
I am thankful the CMV Action group is trying to increase awareness, so if you head to their website you can learn more and hopefully make some changes that will protect your future loved ones.