Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS) affects approximately 3,500 families per year in the United States and is the leading cause of death among infants between 1 month and 1 year of age. The Childbirth Center at Parkwest Medical Center is a gold-certified national safe sleep champion facility and is dedicated to the safety of new moms and newborns. The staff educates parents on safe sleep techniques and ways to reduce the risk of SUIDS, including the following best practices:
- Always place babies on their backs to sleep for bedtime and naps.
- Babies should sleep on a firm surface covered by a fitted sheet.
- Cribs, bassinets, portable cribs or play yards that meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission
(CPSC) safety standards are recommended.
- Never sleep on an adult bed, couch or chair with your baby.
- Babies should share the same sleep area with parents, but not their bed, for the baby’s first year of life.
- Sitting devices such as swings, bouncy seats, infant carriers and strollers should not be used for routine sleep.
- Soft objects such as pillows, blankets, toys and bumper pads should be kept out of your baby’s sleep area.
- Wedges and positioners should not be used.
- Do not smoke during pregnancy or allow smoking around your baby.
- Do not let baby overheat during sleep.
- Breastfeeding offers some protection against SUIDS and is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Once breastfeeding is well established, offering your baby a dry pacifier for naps and nighttime sleep is recommended (do not attach the pacifier to a string).
- Follow your healthcare provider’s advice on regular health checkups and vaccines for your baby.
A Certified Safe Sleep Center
Families at the Childbirth Center at Parkwest are given a children’s book about safe sleep and a sleep sack to take home. The sleep sacks are provided by MAW’s Cause and help keep babies safe while they sleep. Sleep sacks replace regular blankets which, when left loose, can cover a baby’s face and interfere with breathing. A safe sleep surface can also be provided to families if they cannot afford one thanks to Cribs for Kids®, a national organization that partners locally with Parkwest. “The Childbirth Center staff at Parkwest Medical Center are dedicated to the safety of our new moms and babies,” explains nurse manager, Holly Woodlee. “The staff demonstrate safe sleep practices to families and reinforce these techniques with new parents before they go home.”
For more information and education on safe sleep, providing a healthy and safe home for your infant, and important growth and developmental milestones, along with other resources, please visit SafeSleepAcademy.org.
A Generous Donation
MAW’s Cause was founded by Brittanie and Ben Weaver after the death of their 4-month- old son, Mason Archer Weaver, in May 2017. Mason was at day care when he fell asleep for a nap and never woke up. It was a tragic death that unfortunately happens to more than 3,000 infants and 400 children under the age of 2 each year. The prime age for SUIDS is between 2-4 months, but it can occur anytime during the child’s first year.
SUIDS, once known as “crib death,” has been around for decades. It was often believed to be caused by unsafe sleep habits and suffoca- tion when babies slept on their stomachs. In the 1980s the “Back To Sleep” campaign launched nationally to help educate parents about safe sleep practices. SUIDS incidences decreased by 50 percent over the next decade, but have been on the rise again in the last few years. Today, medical experts believe there could be various causes of sudden death, including unsafe sleep practices and unknown medical issues.
MAW’s Cause donated a supply of infant sleep sacks to be given to all babies born at Parkwest Medical Center.