Friday, January 15, 2016

Sudden Unexpected Death of an Infant (SUDI)

Today, I got a phone call from Anika from Plunket. She was calling to raise funds for Plunket's work with the children of New Zealand. I worked with Plunket myself and through my church's Christmas in the park.  I promised her I will write for them. Last year, they asked if I would help them, I told them my priorities have change, but I would write for them.

Last year, they asked if I would help them, I told them my priorities have change, but I would write for them.
Plunket’s Appeal raises vital funds for a wide variety of services , such as parenting education courses, car seat safety schemes, education in schools, toy libraries and many other valuable resources and programmes.

In the 80s, I was a young mum 3 times. I had no family in New Zealand. Plunket was family to me. Plunket's care was epitomised when I was sick when I was pregnant with Andrew and after he had died. I could never repay what Plunket did for me. I tried by collecting door to door, I tried by writing about Plunket. I wrote in detail about Plunket's help in my book and in my other posts.

Diary of a bereaved Mother
These services rely on community support to keep going. Your support will assist Plunket to give every New Zealand child the best start in life.

Sudden Unexpected Death of an Infant (SUDI)

SUDI can be a frightening topic for new parents to think about. Sadly, each year in New Zealand 60 to 70 babies die suddenly when they sleep. Most of these can be prevented. It is important to understand the facts and know what you can do to help protect your baby.

But on the other hand, SIDS or SUDI  can come any time, My friend, middle class professional, Stay at home mom, went for a short outing, came home, put baby to sleep, went to make a cup of coffee. the baby had died.

How can I help to protect my baby from SUDI?

All babies, in all cultures and at all times, need these six conditions to protect their lives as they pass through the critical first 6 months:
  • My baby is smoke-free.
  • If not smoke-free, my baby always sleeps in ‘a baby bed’.
  • My baby sleeps on their back.
  • My baby sleeps with a clear face and head.
  • My baby sleeps in the same room as me when I am also asleep.
  • My baby is breastfed.
These are essential principles of protection for all babies. Experts talk about avoiding the ‘triple risk’, when 3 risks come together to cause sudden infant death: a vulnerable baby, at a vulnerable age, in a vulnerable setting. You can read more about protecting your baby.

What if I want my baby to sleep in my bed?

If you want to sleep in the same bed or sleeping space as your baby, youwill need to set it up to be ‘baby safe’, which means:
‘lying on the back + face stays clear + smoke-free’
More vulnerable babies need their own baby bed. It can be harder to control safety when you or others share a bed with a baby. People move, bedding shifts, tiredness varies. Babies are at different ages and stages of risk, and some babies have less ‘fight’ in them than others.
Talk with Plunket about what ‘baby safe’ means for your particular baby when they sleep.

Vulnerable babies

Risks may be built into the baby, the situation or the setting. The babies who will need the extra protection of their own baby bed every time and place they sleep, include:
  • babies of mothers who smoked during pregnancy (baby will have a damaged ‘wake up’ response)
  • babies in situations where people have been using alcohol or drugs, smoking, or are particularly tired (adults will have slowed reactions, and be less aware of babies)
  • babies with a carer who is very large or on medication (may have less awareness)
  • babies born prematurely, or with low birth weight (will have weakened ‘wake-up’ responses)
  • babies who are put down to sleep on a couch, on an adult bed, in a makeshift setting or away from home

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