On 9 March 2020, The Lullaby Trust’s CEO Jenny Ward appeared on Victoria Derbyshire, with bereaved mothers Rupal and Emma, to talk about Safer Sleep Week and the new survey carried out by the charity.
The survey found that almost half of parents admitted to not always following safer sleep guidelines because they were tired or wanted their babies to sleep for longer.
Emma, whose daughter Maisy passed away from SIDS, had previously always followed safer sleep guidelines: ‘Maisie was my first baby. She was wonderful, she was perfect. We had ten absolutely glorious weeks. I’d never fallen asleep with her before. I’d done everything I could not to that but on this one occasion, I did. I’d probably been asleep for two hours and she was beside me. I saw her and knew there was something drastically wrong.’
Rupal, whose son Krishnan died at 5 weeks old, also shared her experience.
‘I cherish every moment with my existing children,’ Rupal told Victoria Derbyshire. ‘You never think these things will happen to you. I was following safer sleep guidelines, I don’t fall into the high risk categories but this can happen to anybody and that’s why I’m here talking about a really difficult subject.’
Both parents discussed how much they’d benefitted from the Care of Next Infant (CONI) scheme which gave them the reassurance and confidence to have further children. The scheme provides bereaved parents with a range of support including regular home visits from their health visitor, weight charts to monitor their baby’s growth and a movement monitor.
Jenny reminded viewers of the three key things to remember: ‘Always sleep them on their back, never their side or their front. Keep them smoke free, that’s in pregnancy and as well after the baby’s born. And give them their own clear sleep surface near you for the first three months.’
When asked about a viewer’s baby who struggled to sleep for more than five minutes on her back because of reflux, Jenny encouraged them to ‘go out and talk to your health visitor, talk to your GP, if your baby does have reflux that’s a very specific medical condition so talk to them, see if there’s a different way of alleviating those symptoms because, absolutely, we don’t want anyone to have a baby that only sleeps for five minutes.’
Watch a clip of the appearance below:
“She was perfect. She was wonderful”
Emma Smith’s baby daughter died after she put her down on the sofa after feeding and fell asleep, exhausted.
— Victoria Derbyshire (@VictoriaLIVE) March 9, 2020