The silent condition - Analysis of CMV by the RCM Magazine.

     
RCM Midwives The Silent Condition

CMV in Royal College of Midwives Magazine Issue 6 2014

28th November, 2014

Congenital cytomegalovirus infection is one of the main causes of children being born with permanent disabilities, yet many health professionals know little about it. In this article in the RCM Midwives magazine, Professor Paul Griffiths explains how midwives can inform mothers-to-be.  
 
The article is well balanced and informative and puts emphasis on how midwives can help inform and educate women on CMV.   Importantly, Professor Griffiths make this very valid point.  "Midwives already advise, inform, educate and communicate best practice guidelines to mothers without jargon. Armed with the key references cited and factsheets available on the CMV Action website (cmvaction.org.uk), they should feel empowered to help guide mothers with this latest challenge."
 
Thank you Professor Griffiths and Mum, Rebecca Blinkhorn for this fantastic article.
 
Highlights include:

Informing without overloading

Women already suffer from information overload at antenatal clinics and they don’t need even more about yet another medical condition that in all likelihood will not affect them. So, as professionals, we need to integrate CMV as an example of the sort of things that are discussed at present.

For example, NHS Choices (2014) presents information in a comprehensive FAQ format. The site talks about how vaccines are now recommended for pregnant women as a way of protecting their newborn babies against influenza and whooping cough. Shouldn’t it also emphasise across all pregnancy and baby pages of the site that infections in general (not just whooping cough) are a problem for babies, so that mothers know to avoid them where possible? And contain common sense advice to protect against acquiring multiple infections, such as kiss and cuddle your baby, but keep saliva away? Following such advice could reduce the incidence of the common cold, coughs, influenza and pneumonia.

We know that it’s not difficult to avoid CMV, because studies show that trained nurses don’t acquire this infection from contact with patients in excess whereas women working at, or attending, day care centres do. It is, therefore, likely that simply washing hands after wiping drool or changing nappies, as well as avoiding saliva when cuddling, kissing or consoling young children is sufficient.

The midwife’s role 

The natural history of CMV is more complex than that of rubella, because women who have the antibody before they become pregnant can deliver babies with congenital CMV infection (de Vries et al, 2013). 

Midwives already advise, inform, educate and communicate best practice guidelines to mothers without jargon. Armed with the key references cited here and factsheets available on the CMV Action website (cmvaction.org.uk), they should feel empowered to help guide mothers with this latest challenge. 

Also in the article Rebecca Blinkhorn, one of our superstar Mums, tells her story of CMV.

A mother's point of view by Rebecca Blinkhorn

I first heard of congenital CMV when Michael was three days old. Nobody seemed to know what the prospects of congenital CMV might be for him. The midwives were nervous, as if they didn’t know what they were dealing with and, a year later, one of the team admitted this was the case. She explained that they had never experienced it before and had no idea what we could be facing.

They were not the only ones. My sister was 12 weeks pregnant when Michael was born and, when she expressed her concerns to her antenatal team, they assured her that I was a very rare case. In total contradiction, the advice from other professionals was to stay away. It was very confusing and it added to the distress of those early days.

For me, it had all started in early pregnancy when I visited the doctors while poorly with CMV and, afterwards, when I developed a post-viral rash. The rash panicked me, but I was reassured by two GPs that this was nothing to be worried about and I failed to share the information with my antenatal team or give it any further thought.

Why didn’t anybody tell me to prevent my other baby and his friends sticking their half eaten food in my mouth? Or not to wipe another child’s snotty nose at playgroup? When pregnant, you feel like you are regularly reminded not to change a cat litter tray or eat cured meat and certain cheeses, but nothing is said about CMV.

Download the full article here from the RCM Miidwives magazine website

CYTOMEGALOVIRUS  CMV  INFECTION  MIDWIVES MAGAZINE ISSUE 6 2014    MIDWIVES MAGAZINE

The Silent Condition Pg1

 

     

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