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Text Alternative: Healthy Native Babies Project: Safe Sleep Train-The-Trainer Module 2 of 6

To view the original video, please go to http://www.nichd.nih.gov/sts/news/videos/healthynative/Pages/default.aspx

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Healthy Native Babies Project logo.

Healthy Native Babies Project:
Honoring the Past, Learning for the Future


A Collaboration Between the Healthy Native Babies Project Workgroup and the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services logo.

NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development logo.
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Trainers


Photo: Leah Henry-Tanner

Leah Henry-Tanner, BS
Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho

Photo: Geradine Simkins

Geradine Simkins
RN, CNM, MSN
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Safe Sleep Train-The-Trainer

Training Location:
Yakama Nation Cultural Heritage Center
Toppenish, WA
August 7, 2014
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Safe Sleep Train-The-Trainer  

What Causes SIDS & Risk Factors


Photo of woman standing in front of the SIDS Risk Continuum chart holding a photo.
Leah Henry-Tanner: So, there's certain controllable factors, including those that might be more common in Native communities, that may put infants at a higher risk for SIDS.
GRAPHICS SLIDE: SIDS Risk Factors
  • Overheating
  • Alcohol Use
  • Commercial Tobacco Use
  • Pregnancy-Related Factors
  • Sleep Position
  • Soft Sleeping Surfaces and Loose, Fluffy Bedding
  • Bed Sharing
Leah Henry-Tanner: Keep in mind that these are not direct causes of SIDS, but they may play a contributing role in terms of the Triple Risk Theory that we just mentioned. Let's take a look at each one of these in more detail. So, overheating, alcohol use, commercial tobacco use, pregnancy-related factors, sleep positions, soft sleeping surfaces, and loose, fluffy bedding in the baby's sleep area, and bed sharing, which we'll probably spend a lot more time on.
GRAPHICS SLIDE: SIDS Risk Factors Overheating
  • Increases chance baby will sleep too deeply
  • Can occur if:
    • Baby is overdressed;
    • Room is too warm; or
    • Baby is covered in too many blankets.
  • Check for signs: sweating, damp hair, flushed cheeks, heat rash, rapid breathing
(Here, and in the following sections, the camera cuts back and forth between Leah Henry-Tanner, the participants, and the slides.)
Leah Henry-Tanner: So, overheating increases the baby's chance that he'll sleep too deeply. And, I don't know about you but I remember when I had my first baby. My grandma, who was very strong, she always insisted that you put the undershirt on, and you put this on, and that layer on. And so then my baby he–you could tell he was hot because he was sweating.

But of course, I never went back on what my grandma said. Tanya probably remembers her. She was a very, very strong woman. But, it also can happen if the room is too warm or the baby is–because I think a lot of times parents get concerned that "Oh, it's cold in here. Baby's gonna be cold, so let's turn up the heat." Or "Let's put too many blankets on him," because they're again wanting to keep baby safe and keep baby comfortable. But, they don't realize that if the room temperature is OK for you, it's OK for baby, too.

But, I know overheating is definitely an issue that I myself had to deal with, and I'm sure other moms with strong grandmas or strong mamas have to deal with too. So, just being able to be able to tell our family members, "Well, this is what the latest studies have shown," might be able to help them see things a little bit differently.

So, if your baby is too hot, of course, some of the signs are sweating or damp hair, little, flushed red cheeks, or heat rash, or breathing really fast.
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SIDS Risk Factors

Alcohol Use
(during pregnancy & after baby's birth)
  • One binge episode during first 3 months of pregnancy increases risk of SIDS 8 times.
  • Any drinking 3 months prior to and during first 3 months of pregnancy increases risk 6 times.
  • Alcohol use during breastfeeding can cause drowsiness, deeper sleep, weakness, and decreased growth in the infant.
Leah Henry-Tanner: Now, alcohol use is certainly something that is of great concern in Native communities. There was a–actually it was the Aberdeen Area study that one of the PIs was Leslie Randall, who's a Nez Perce tribal member. She's been a mentor of mine for many years. But, her study's over in the Aberdeen Area, which is the Dakotas.

Geradine Simkins:
North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Leah Henry-Tanner:
Gera knows that. She used to work there too.   But, they showed that alcohol use really increased the SIDS risk as the slide clearly shows. One binge episode during the first 3 months of pregnancy increased the risk of SIDS 8 times. And, any drinking, 3 months prior to and during the first 3 months of pregnancy increased the risk 6 times. And also, alcohol use during breastfeeding can cause drowsiness which means deeper sleep, weakness, and then decreased growth for the baby.
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SIDS Risk Factors

Commercial Tobacco Use
(during pregnancy & in baby's living environment)
  • Tobacco decreases growth and function of baby's developing brain, nerves, and organs.
  • Infants who die of SIDS having higher levels of nicotine in their lungs than infants who die from other causes.
Source: McMartin, KI, Platt, MS, Hackman, R, Klein, J, Smialek, JE, Vigorito, R, & Koren, G. (2002). Lung tissue concentrations of nicotine in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Journal of Pediatrics, 140(2), 205-209.
Leah Henry-Tanner: Another SIDS risk factor is commercial tobacco use during pregnancy and in the baby's living environment. Gera mentioned secondhand smoke, and we definitely know that's a risk factor for SIDS. Tobacco decreases the growth and function of the baby's developing brain, nerves, and organs. So, like the critical development period mentioned in the Triple Risk, as well as the vulnerable infant.

And infants who die of SIDS have higher levels of nicotine in their lungs than infants who die from other causes. And, I do need to mention that SIDS risk among babies whose mothers smoke during pregnancy is up to four times higher than the risk of babies whose mothers did not smoke. So, that seems pretty significant.
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SIDS Risk Factors
  • Pregnancy-Related Factors
  • Not receiving early regular prenatal care
  • Preterm labor/birth and low birth weight
Leah Henry-Tanner: Other risk factors for SIDS include pregnancy-related factors. So, something like not receiving early, regular, prenatal care is a risk factor for SIDS. Missing prenatal care appointments means the woman and her family misses education and screening for potentially treatable conditions. Research shows that getting early and continuous care protects against SIDS. Also, preterm labor, or preterm birth, and low birth weight are also risk factors for SIDS. Regular prenatal care allows health care providers to detect preterm labor symptoms, low birth weight, or growth restrictions of the baby–all of which increase the risk for SIDS.

Again, going back to looking at stats for our state, the pre-term birth rate for American Indian/Alaska Native babies is higher than any other communities. Though, it goes back and forth between our community and African American communities. So, making sure that mom gets early and continuous prenatal care is really vital.
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Safe Sleep Train-The-Trainer

This Concludes Module 2 of 6

For more information and materials about SIDS, reducing SIDS risk, or the Healthy Native Babies Project, contact the Safe to Sleep®campaign at:  1-800-505-CRIB (2742) or http://safetosleep.nichd.nih.gov
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