Discussions that mention prenatal

Children's Health board

According to the SIDS Network there is data from the UK, but not from the US, showing double the risk of SIDS in the side lying position.

The SIDS rate in the US is less than one per thousand births and continues to decline every year.

A growing body of evidence from European studies suggests that SIDS is caused by distortions in the positions of the first and second cervical vertebrae which compromise the supply of blood to the brain stem. The brain stem controls autonomic functions including respiration. SIDS babies die from respiratory failure. The modern recommendation to sleep babies on their back is so successful because it prevents the baby from rotating its head into the distortion.

Two years ago a hospital migraine research study found the same distortions cause migraines by compromising brain blood supply and influencing pain centers in the brain stem. Neuromuscular therapists are now being trained in atlas-axis mobilization to assess and correct these distortions.

If it were my baby I would call every massage and physical therapist in my area to find one trained in this technique.


[quote]Reducing The Risks For SIDS
Some Steps Parents Can Take

What is Meant by Risk Factors?

Risk factors by themselves do not cause Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but can have a negative effect on infant well-being. In fact, as many as two thirds of SIDS victims have no known risk factors, and, most babies with one or more of these risk factors will not become SIDS victims.
Therefore, while doctors are hopeful that following the recommendations we have described may reduce the risk of SIDS, we must understand that following the recommendations faithfully will still not prevent all SIDS deaths. Research must continue if we are to discover how and why SIDS occurs, and expand upon these and other risk factors.

Place your baby on the back to sleep.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that healthy infants sleep on their backs or sides to reduce the risk for SIDS. Specifically:

A supine position, where an infant is completely on his/her back, carries the lowest risk of SIDS. Side sleeping also lowers the risk of potentially life-threatening breathing problems, and is a "reasonable alternative" to stomach-down sleeping.

Infants should not have soft surfaces or pillows while sleeping, which have the potential to trap air.

The sleeping position recommendation is for healthy infants. Some pediatricians may recommend that babies with certain medical problems or birth defects need to sleep in the prone, or face-down position.

The recommendation is intended for sleeping infants. Indeed, a certain amount of time spent in the stomach-down position is recommended for infants who are awake and being watched.

These recommendations are considered to be primarily important during the first six months of age, when a baby's risk of SIDS is greatest. Parents should discuss these recommendations with their baby's doctor.

The side position has in general been considered less effective than supine because it is less stable, and some infants rolling from the side will end up sleeping prone. The only specific and objective data in this regard was reported at the June International Conference byPeter Fleming (Avon, UK). He reported that the relative risk of SIDS when sleeping on the side is double the risk of SIDS when sleeping supine. We do not currently have any data on this question in the U.S.; nevertheless, I am in full agreement that we should recommend only the supine position for sleeping. That is, although side appears to be much better than prone, it is not as effective as supine sleeping. I hope this is helpful.
Carl E. Hunt, M.D.
Toledo/Washington D.C.

Stop smoking around the baby.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has long been associated with women who smoke during pregnancy. A recent study by the National Center for Health Statistics demonstrates that women who quit smoking but then resume smoking after delivery put their babies at risk for SIDS, too. Findings from the survey show that babies exposed to smoke only after birth were twice as likely to die from SIDS as those whose mothers did not smoke at all. And, constant smoke exposure both during and after pregnancy tripled a baby's risk for SIDS.

Use firm bedding materials.

In response to recent research, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a series of advisories for parents on the hazards posed to infants sleeping on beanbag cushions, sheepskins, foam pads, foam sofa cushions, synthetic filled adult pillows and foam pads covered with comforters. Waterbeds should also be avoided. Parents are advised to use a firm, flat mattress in a safety approved crib for their baby's sleep.

Avoid overheating, especially when your baby is ill.

SIDS has been associated with the presence of colds and infections, although colds are not more common among babies who die of SIDS than babies in general. Now, research findings indicate that overheating - too much clothing, too heavy bedding, and too warm a room - may greatly increase the risk of SIDS for a baby with a cold or infection. Signs that your baby may be overheated include sweating, damp hair, heat rash, rapid breathing, restlessness, and sometimes fever. To help your baby regulate his or her temperature, some pediatricians recommend maintaining consistent indoor temperatures of 68 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit; and dressing your baby in as much or as little as you would wear.

If possible, breast-feed your baby.

Studies by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) show that babies who died of SIDS were less likely to be breast-fed. Potential advantages to breast-feeding your baby include prevention of gastrointestinal and respiratory illness, infections and certain immunologic disorders.

Other important factors.

Statistics tell us that seasonality (i.e. the cold weather months), maternal age (i.e. the younger the mother, the greater the risk), and baby's sex (i.e. boys are at higher risk than girls) are among the factors which must be considered. Baby's age is another risk factor. SIDS occurs most frequently in infants two to four months old; nearly 90% of the babies who die of SIDS are under six months of age. We also know that there is a higher incidence of SIDS for premature and low-birthweight infants, twins and triplets.
Maintaining good prenatal care and constant communication with your baby's doctor about changes in your baby's behavior and health are of the utmost importance.

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