In July of 2006, their daughter Rebecca was born four weeks early and was declared healthy and ready for release from the NICU five days later. The next day at home, Rebecca became severely congested with thick mucus, and was having difficulty feeding and breathing. Doctors diagnosed her with the common cold each time the Rabinowitzes took her in for examination over the next few days, and sent her home each time. Unfortunately, eight days after she was born, Rebecca passed away. The Rabinowitzes later discovered that their daughter had contracted an enter viral infection that is potentially life threatening in babies. Had her symptoms been treated properly, she could still be here today. As a result of this tragedy Phyllis and Andrew created the R Baby Foundation.
The R Baby Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charity that is dedicated to helping newborn babies—primarily those less than a month old—suffering from viral infections and other infectious diseases. The foundation strives to ensure that these babies receive the highest quality of care and service through supporting education, research, training and life-saving equipment.
To date, R baby has raised over $4.5 million and more than 90 percent of every dollar spent is for grants directed to save babies’ lives.
As part of their public education efforts, R Baby has an easy-to-remember list of the top five red flags that indicate when to take your baby to the ER:
1. Crying Changes:
While it may be hard to tell if your baby is crying from colic, a baby who has changed from his/her normal behavior and is inconsolable despite usual attempts to soothe, may be sick.
2. Color Changes:
Changes in your baby’s skin color can be a sign that something is not quite right. Specific changes to be wary of include: • Turning blue, especially around the lips or face. • Yellow, pale or mottled skin (or any other changes from your baby’s normal skin tone), • Rapidly spreading rash.
3. Tone Changes:
Infants are not known for their superior muscle tone. But you know how your baby normally feels, the strength of their grip, and how they support themselves. Be aware if this changes. You should be concerned if your baby feels unusually limp or weak, different than “normal”.
4. Sleeping Pattern Changes:
Changes that might indicate a problem with your newborn include: • Sleeping much more than usual, • Acting less alert, • Having difficulty waking your baby (baby is not arousable).
5. Breathing Changes:
Changes in breathing patterns, including the following, are especially concerning.
• Slow or rapid breathing
• Irregular breathing pattern (different from normal pattern)
• Nostrils flaring
• Belly or ribs moving unusually with breathing—breathing seems labored.
• Not breathing.
For more information on this cause and how you can get more involved, visit their website at rbabyfoundation.org.