Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

SIDS…. We have all heard about it throughout out pregnancy but what exactly is it? what causes it? and what can I do to prevent it? SIDS is the name used when all other causes of death have been ruled out. It’s the leading cause of death for 1 month to 1 year but mostly occurs in the first 3 months. In 2017 it was the cause of death in 6 in every 100,000 infants, the incidents have been on the decline since the sleep campaigns. Education has been the key to reduce the occurrences of SIDS. There are many causes for this that can be hard to manage. For example, my baby Quentin, who likes to sleep on his stomach from the day he learnt to roll over.

The risk is increased when:

  • Mothers smoked, drank, or used drugs during pregnancy or after birth
  • Poor prenatal care
  • Baby being born premature or at a low weight
  • There is a family history of SIDS
  • The mother is younger than 20 years old
  • Baby is exposed to second hand smoke
  • Baby gets over heated

Ways to reduce the risk:

  • Have baby sleep on their back to reduce the risk of blocking airway
  • Having no pillows, soft toys, soft mattress, or bedding in the cot other than a fitted sheet
  • Have good and early prenatal care
  •  Sleep in their own crib, in parents’ room for up to a year old.
  • Breast feeding and using a pacifier can reduce the risk
  • Not exposing the baby to smoking or alcohol
  • Ensure bubs is vaccinated with all the recommended vaccines

This is a very real event for some parents which I could not begin to imagine the pain this would cause.  

There are support groups to try and help ease the pain.

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