Mon Health recognized for safe sleep practices for infants

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Baby Sofia lies in cot just next to her mother’s bed, as doctors recommend.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Mon Health Family Birth Center is being recognized for their safe sleep practices with newborns.

The Cribs for Kids National Safe Sleep Certification as a Bronze Safe Sleep Hospital means that the hospital is dedicated to keeping babies safe while they sleep. Dr. Shane Prettyman, the chairman of OBGYN said the award shows that Mon Health is dedicated to educating their patients to better the health and lives.

A baby dies every 10 days in the mountain state because of unsafe sleep practices, Perryman said. That’s why he said patients are given a booklet a DVD, and some handouts to further help educate them and family members once they are home. He recommends a variety of ways parents can keep their infants safe.

“Some of the recommendations are to always lay on your back on a firm surface, on ideally a soft bed or pillow,” he said. “To not have loose-fitting clothes, whether it be a blanket or stuffed animals or a bumper around the crib. Swaddling is something that is if done, should be ideally with one that is worn and not one that is loose that could obstruct the airways or cause the baby to be trapped in it and if you do swaddle once the baby shows signs of rolling over you should stop swaddling.”

There are special swaddling products parents can buy, Perryman said that ensure the infant’s safety.

He said all these factors can help lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Another major contributor, he said that many people forget about is cosleeping. Cosleeping is when parents sleep in the same bed as their baby.

“A baby sleeping in the bed with a parent is not a good idea at all, it’s something that a lot of people do but it’s very dangerous,” Perryman said. “The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that the baby sleeps in the room with a parent but in a separate bed right adjacent to the parent’s bed for up to 12 months, ideally 6 but up to 12 months when the risk of SIDs and other sleep-related events start to decrease.”

He said while the family is at Mon General, they always have the baby room-in with the mother and not sleep in the nursery. They do this to demonstrate safe sleeping practices from the start hoping parents will carry that with them home.

Perryman said award shows that Mon Health is dedicated to educating their patients to better their health and lives.

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