Need for more support for parents says RCM on sleeping their baby safely - RCM responds to The Lullaby Trust survey of parents

By RCM on 10 March 2017 Safety Safe Sleep Postnatal Care

Today The Lullaby Trust has published a survey of parents which found that over 55% of parents are unsure of the basic steps they can take to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The survey of 500 parents with children aged 0-2 years, found that while most are aware of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) there is confusion around one of the most fundamental steps to reduce the risk of SIDS: sleeping a baby on its back for every sleep.

Commenting on the survey, Louise Silverton, Director for Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives, said: ‘Stressing to prospective parents about the need for their baby to be put to sleep on its back is standard midwifery advice and has been so for many years. 

“There is strong evidence about putting babies to sleep on their back and a reduction in the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, so this is important advice. This survey shows there is clearly a need for more education and support for women and their partners who are expecting the birth of a baby.

“Women and their partners do though have a lot of new information to take on board when preparing to be parents so it is important that key messages such as this can be reinforced and repeated throughout and after the pregnancy. Pressures of work for midwives do mean they are increasingly spending less time with women in hospital and at home in the postnatal period. 

“This highlights why it is so important that midwives have the time to discuss issues such as this with women and their partners, before and after the birth. Home visits by midwives after the birth for example are helpful as you can see where the baby sleeps and what else is in the cot. ”

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Notes to editors

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