A leading baby charity has released a series of short videos as part of a campaign to tackle higher instances of SIDS among babies of younger parents.
Little Lullaby, a dedicated service for young parents run by The Lullaby Trust, wants to highlight the importance of health and childcare professionals providing consistent and accurate information on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) to young mums and dads.
Babies born to mums under 20 are 4 times more likely to die of SIDS than those born to older parents. Yet, young parents are also less likely to attend antenatal classes, which means they could be missing out on vital information and support.
In the first video, young parents describing inconsistent support and information they received from professionals about SIDS.
“I didn’t know anything about SIDS until two months into my son being born,” says young mum Richelle, who was 16 when she fell pregnant. “My son was sleeping on his stomach and when I started to get the knowledge, I realised that him sleeping on his stomach is one of the main things that contributes to SIDS.”
The second video focuses on Loren who talks about the loss of her son Archie to SIDS. Pregnant at 18, Loren gave birth to Archie in July 2012. Archie died of SIDS when he was just six weeks and four days old. The video highlights just how important it is that young parents – and all parents – are given consistent advice.
Loren says: “When I went to the Coroners’ Court to get Archie’s death certificate, I was told by a doctor that I should never have co-slept and if I wasn’t co-sleeping there would probably be a chance that it never would have happened.”
When Loren’s second son, Tom, was born she was given conflicting advice about co-sleeping.
“I wanted to tick all the boxes, so I decided to breastfeed Tom. And I was told by the midwives the best way to breastfeed is to co-sleep and I was given a leaflet about co-sleeping,” she says. However, when Loren was seen by her district midwife after her son’s birth, she was told to ignore the previous advice.
“When she [saw me at home], she immediately took the leaflet off me and said, ‘Just ignore that.’”
The videos are supported by a new information section for professionals on the Little Lullaby website, which includes top tips on working with young parents, written by young parents themselves.