Mothers ignore bedsharing warnings
Wed, 19 Dec 2012 5:25a.m.
By Cleo Fraser
A coroner has made recommendations to hospitals about safe bedsharing with infants after two babies died from asphyxia when their mothers fell asleep while breastfeeding in hospital.
A two-month-old boy, who was a twin, died on January 11, 2010 after his mother fell asleep while breastfeeding him at the neonatal intensive care unit at Auckland Starship Children's Hospital.
In a report released on Wednesday, Coroner Katharine Greig ruled the boy died from accidental asphyxia while in an unsafe sleeping environment.
She found hospital staff hadn't told the mother not to breastfeed her child while lying down in the parent room which wasn't subject to direct clinical supervision.
There was no safe sleeping policy in place on the neonatal ward. The hospital has since taken preventative steps.
In a separate report released on the same day, Ms Greig ruled that a two-day-old girl died in similar circumstances on February 2, 2011 at Auckland Birthcare Hospital.
The baby died from accidental asphyxia while being breastfed by her mother in the early hours of the morning as she lay on a hospital bed.
A nurse was aware the mother was breastfeeding in bed and checked on the baby a number of times.
The girl died during the two hours she was in bed with her mother, but no-one realised something was wrong with the infant until about 8am.
The hospital didn't have a safe sleeping policy in place. Birthcare has since implemented a safe sleeping policy.
The most common cause of death from unintentional injury for infants in New Zealand in their first year of life is suffocation in places they sleep.
Bedsharing is the cause of more than half of infants aged under 12 months who die suddenly and unexpectedly.
Among the coroner's recommendations:
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20/12/2012 6:10:40 a.m.
There is not enough information here, This is a scaremongering piece. Was the baby ill? was the mother on drugs from c-section or difficult birth? epidural? all these need to be taken into consideration. This isn't just a case of cosleeping = death.
I'm so very sad for their losses but lets not witch-hunt cosleeping again
20/12/2012 5:43:22 a.m.
Note that the tragic incidents of suffocation occurred in unsafe sleep environments. A shared bed is not necessarily unsafe, and equally a crib can be unsafe. Another way of looking at the stats is to say that almost half of these tragedies happen in cots. The key is education and preparation wherever you decide your baby should sleep.
20/12/2012 3:40:27 a.m.
Tricia- you mean to tell me that in ALL the feeding times between EIGHT children..... You NEVER dozed off...?? I call bs.
19/12/2012 10:58:54 a.m.
Tricia Lapham wrote:
No not everyone - I breastfed 8 children and I sat up to do so therefore you do not fall asleep and run the risk of smothering your baby. It is the mother's responsibility to look after her child always. It does not necessarily mean babies are smothered whilst feeding - mostly it is when the parent chooses to not put the baby in their own cot - that is the problem. A baby will not get a parent smothering them if they are in separate beds.
19/12/2012 9:39:03 a.m.
Everyone at some stage falls asleep whilst feedin their baby. It is part of being exhausted and having to fee a new baby all night. Breast feeding also has a very soothing effect which makes you fall asleep
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