The videos 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. However, young parents are less likely to attend antenatal classes.
In the videos, young parents are given the chance to talk about the support they would like to receive. We hope this will help professionals to improve the conversations they have with young parents about safer sleep and the risk of SIDS.
The videos are supported by a new information section for professionals on the Little Lullaby website (www.littlelullaby.org.uk/professionals) which includes top tips on working with young parents, written by young parents themselves.
The first video features various young parents explaining the different levels of support and information they received from professionals about SIDS and how they feel this can be improved.
“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.”
Throughout the video, the young parents also offer up ideas to professionals on the best ways to communicate with them.
Anthony, a dad of four says: “I’d like to be approached just as much as [my partner] Sharna is approached but not in a way where we feel belittled or patronised, treat us like we’re ordinary parents.”
The second video focuses on young mum Loren who talks about the loss of her son Archie to SIDS. Loren became pregnant when she was 18 and 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 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.” However, when she gave birth to her second son, Tom, she said she was “told by a breastfeeding specialist group to co-sleep.“
Speaking about the release of the videos, Charlene Annon, project manager of Little Lullaby adds: “Young parents are less likely to attend antenatal classes. As they are also at higher risk of losing a baby to SIDS, it is vital that they get the support they need from professionals. We hope that by watching these videos and by reading the resources on the Little Lullaby website, professionals will feel equipped to talk to young parents.”