Background: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of infant death beyond the newborn period. In October 2010, Pennsylvania (PA) passed The Safe Sleep Bill, which requires that all birthing facilities provide written materials on SIDS risk reduction.
Objective: Determine the effectiveness of the current SIDS education at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH) Newborn Nursery, and assess knowledge of SIDS risk factors and perceptions of safe sleep recommendations among new mothers.
Design/Methods: Cross-sectional, telephone survey of new mothers following hospital discharge from the Newborn Nursery at TJUH between April and October 2011. Surveys were conducted at 2-4 weeks postpartum. Surveys included choice of infant sleep position, knowledge of SIDS risk factors, and perceptions of safe sleep recommendations.
Results: To date, 193 mothers have completed the survey. Participants were young (mean age + SD: 27 + 6 yrs), and largely low-income (57% with Medicaid; 66% with WIC) and African American (58%); 70% completed high school, 46% were single, and 42% were primiparous. Six percent reported using the side or front sleep position for their newborns; 8% stated that a non-back position was the safest position; and 16% reported cobedding with their newborn. Only 67% recalled a doctor telling them what sleep position to use. Though the majority (61%) of mothers reported the postpartum period as the first time a health professional (HP) spoke to them about safe sleep, 35% reported that a HP spoke to them during their pregnancy. As many as 23% of mothers felt that infants were more likely to choke while sleeping on their backs. Single mothers were less likely than married mothers to know that the safest sleep position is the back position (84% vs. 93%, p=0.04), and more likely to think that the back sleep position is associated with an increased risk for choking (32% vs. 15%, p=0.02). Mothers receiving WIC benefits when compared to those without WIC were more likely to perceive an increased risk of choking with the back sleep position (29% vs 11%, p=0.01). There was no significant difference in choice of sleep position based on WIC status, shared sleep surface, education level, age or race/ethnicity.
Conclusions: HPs need to emphasize the back sleep position as the safest sleep position, address related concerns about choking, and educate families about the risks of cobedding.
Learning Objectives: At the end of the session, the participant will;
1. Identify the common sleep positions mothers reported they use to put their infants to sleep.
2. Discuss strategies for addressing parental concerns about choking while promoting the back sleep position as the safest.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/esther_chung/1/