10th April 2015 – Hospital supports Safer Sleep Week
Midwives at Airedale Hospital have been raising awareness of safe sleep practices with new and expectant mums to help reduce deaths amongst new babies.
The maternity team supported a new initiative ‘safer sleep week’, which aims to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by providing parents with information and advice about safer sleeping.
The team promoted the new scheme throughout the week, which took place in March, by manning a stand outside ward 21 – the hospital’s maternity ward – and talking to new and expectant mums and dads.
Liz Osborne, infant feeding coordinator, at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust said, “We wanted to raise awareness about safe sleep practices which can help reduce the risk of SIDS.
“All of our parent education classes have also discussed safe sleeping and offered information to soon to be parents.
“One of the risks we have been focusing on to raise awareness at Airedale is making sure babies are never in the same bed as parents if they have consumed alcohol, smoke, or take medication or drugs that may alter their level of consciousness.
“Some breastfeeding mothers do choose to share a bed with their baby and it is important that they follow practical guidance about how to make this as safe as possible, or speak to their midwife.”
Dr Shirley Brierley, public health consultant for Bradford Council offered further advice. She said: “The advice is to place your baby on their back to sleep, in its own cot in the same room with you. Place them so their feet touch the end of the cot and never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair.
“Keeping your home smokefree and breastfeeding if you can, can also reduce the risks. Try not to let your baby become too hot and keep your baby’s head uncovered when asleep.”
Organised by The Lullaby Trust, it is the first year that safer sleep week has taken place.
Parents can get more information from NHS choice (www.nhs.uk) or by visiting http://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/promotingsafebabycare
For further information about maternity services, including parent education classes, which are free to everyone planning on giving birth at Airedale NHS Foundation Trust visit http://www.airedale-trust.nhs.uk/services/maternity-services/