March Prenatal & Infant Care Luncheon: New Safe Sleep Information and Resources
The St. Joe Foundation hosted a Prenatal & Infant Care Network (PIC) Luncheon on safe sleep at the University of Saint Francis on March 2, 2023. The PIC luncheons are free educational and networking opportunities for service providers and caregivers to pregnant women, infants, and families.
Erin Norton, Director of Community Outreach for Parkview Women’s & Children’s Service Line and member of the Allen County Child Fatality Review (CFR) Board; Allie Houston, Prevention Program Director at the Indiana Department of Health; and Stephanie Good, Registered Nurse and Birth Navigator and Childbirth Educator at Dupont Hospital presented local and statewide insights on safe sleep and how to best support babies and the families caring for them.
“Families usually have safe sleep environments for their babies, but they’re not using them,” said Norton. “For 75% of the total deaths, a crib or bassinet was available in the home,” echoed Houston. “On average, two infants die per week in Indiana, so nearly one in every five infant deaths is related to unsafe sleep practices,” Houston emphasized that most of these deaths are preventable.
The most common cause of death is bedsharing, resulting in asphyxia due to overly. “These families love their babies,” said Norton. “These aren’t parents who don’t care. They’re parents who want their babies with them, and I think there’s a paradox that, unfortunately, some of these deaths occur when it feels like it should be a safe place.”
As a nurse and childbirth educator, Good provides some prevention resources and other services necessary to help keep caregivers informed and babies safe. Working with families early allows for personalized support where families can ask questions, learn how to use cribs and practice putting babies to sleep. “I meet them on their level and do it individually,” shared Good. “We’re practicing all of those things on their time.” She also works to ensure that families are sent home with helpful resources for themselves and other family members and friends who care for their children.
For more information about the PIC Network and this presentation, please visit our website at https://sjchf.org/programs/pic-network/topics/
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