Monday, October 15, 2012

Significance of October 15

Before I had Kellen I never thought about the significance of October 15.  In fact, I didn't know the significance of October 15 until my friend, Kellie lost her precious and incredibly perfect baby girl, Maddie, to the silent killer called SIDS.  Sweet Maddie was only 4 months and 3 days old.  Born just 11 days before Kellen was born, yesterday would have been her 2 year birthday.  I hate SIDS.  I really do.  Its something that I pray I never experience and never hear that 4 letter word again.  It is a parents worse nightmare. But, SIDS is real and we can not ignore it.  So, October 15 is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I wanted to do a blog for those babies and their parents and spread some information about SIDS.  I've learned that even though there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of SIDS you can NOT TOTALLY prevent SIDS.  Kellie was taking all the proper precautions and very sadly lost her baby girl. :( 

Want to see Maddie?  Isn't she perfect!


The day we found out about Maddie, Kellen and I took this picture for her.  The pink flower just for her.

When Maddie turned one year old I talked about SIDS.  If you want to read that post, go HERE.

Kellie shared the following information on her blog, Kellie's Blog.

1. Back to sleep: Infants should be placed for sleep in a supine position (wholly on the back) for every sleep. Side sleeping is not as safe as supine sleeping and is not advised.

The side position has in general been considered less effective than supine because it is less stable, and some infants rolling from the side will end up sleeping prone. The only specific and objective data in this regard was reported at the June International Conference by Peter Fleming (Avon, UK). He reported that the relative risk of SIDS when sleeping on the side is double the risk of SIDS when sleeping supine. We do not currently have any data on this question in the U.S.; nevertheless, I am in full agreement that we should recommend only the supine position for sleeping. That is, although side appears to be much better than prone, it is not as effective as supine sleeping. I hope this is helpful.
Carl E. Hunt, M.D.
Toledo/Washington D.C.
2. Use a firm sleep surface: Soft materials or objects such as pillows, quilts, comforters, or sheepskins should not be placed under a sleeping infant. A firm crib mattress, covered by a sheet, is the recommended sleeping surface.

3. Keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib: Soft objects such as pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys, and other soft objects should be kept out of an infant’s sleeping environment.  Another strategy is to use sleep clothing with no other covering over the infant or infant sleep sacks that are designed to keep the infant warm without the possible hazard of head covering.

4. Do not smoke during pregnancy: Maternal smoking during pregnancy has emerged as a major risk factor in almost every epidemiologic study of SIDS. Smoke in the infant’s environment after birth has emerged as a separate risk factor in a few studies, although separating this variable from maternal smoking before birth is problematic. Avoiding an infant’s exposure to second- hand smoke is advisable for numerous reasons in addition to SIDS risk.

5. A separate but proximate sleeping environment is recommended: The risk of SIDS has been shown to be reduced when the infant sleeps in the same room as the mother. A crib, bassinet, or cradle that conforms to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and ASTM (formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials) is recommended. “Co-sleepers” (infant beds that attach to the mother’s bed) provide easy access for the mother to the infant, especially for breastfeeding, but safety standards for these devices have not yet been established by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Although bed-sharing rates are increasing in the United States for a number of reasons, including facilitation of breastfeeding, the task force concludes that the evidence is growing that bed sharing, as practiced in the United States and other Western countries, is more hazardous than the infant sleeping on a separate sleep surface and, therefore, recommends that infants not bed share during sleep. Infants may be brought into bed for nursing or comforting but should be returned to their own crib or bassinet when the parent is ready to return to sleep. The infant should not be brought into bed when the parent is excessively tired or using medications or substances that could impair his or her alertness. The task force recommends that the infant’s crib or bassinet be placed in the parents’ bedroom, which, when placed close to their bed, will allow for more convenient breastfeeding and contact. Infants should not bed share with other children. Because it is very dangerous to sleep with an infant on a couch or armchair, no one should sleep with an infant on these surfaces.

6. Consider offering a pacifier at nap time and bedtime: Although the mechanism is not known, the reduced risk of SIDS associated with pacifier use during sleep is compelling, and the evidence that pacifier use inhibits breastfeeding or causes later dental complications is not. Until evidence dictates otherwise, the task force recommends use of a pacifier throughout the first year of life according to the following procedures:
• The pacifier should be used when placing the infant down for sleep and not be reinserted once the infant falls asleep. If the infant refuses the pacifier, he or she should not be forced to take it.

• Pacifiers should not be coated in any sweet solution.

• Pacifiers should be cleaned often and replaced regularly.

• For breastfed infants, delay pacifier introduction until 1 month of age to ensure that breastfeeding is firmly established.
7. Avoid overheating: The infant should be lightly clothed for sleep, and the bedroom temperature should be kept comfortable for a lightly clothed adult. Overbundling should be avoided, and the infant should not feel hot to the touch.

Taken from Reduce SIDS

Can I ask you to do something for me, Kellie, Maddie and all those babies who left way too soon???
Tonight at 7pm (in all time zones) please light a candle for at least an hour in honor of my friend and her baby.  She is grieving and if something so simple will make her feel a little bit better, I ask you to just do it.  You can either send me the picture on facebook, or you can go directly to her Another Day Stronger facebook page.  She would really love to see them. :)

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