Access Safe Sleep Photos for Your Use - Help Families Reduce Unsafe Sleep Environments

flickr photo shared by nichdweb under a Public Domain Work Mark 1.0 Creative Commons license

 Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educators and other professionals that work with expectant and new families often share information and resources on the topic of newborn and infant sleep.  This subject always elicits lots of questions and discussion in my childbirth classes from the families.  I always make sure to provide resources that clearly demonstrate what constitutes a safe sleep environment, some helpful strategies on getting “enough” sleep with a newborn and how families can reduce the risk of SUID/SID for their infant.

Lamaze International President Robin Elise Weiss, Ph.D recently participated in a Federal SUID/SID Workgroup forum and one of the outcomes of this forum was a Safe Infant Sleep Photo Repository.  This collection of images reinforces the American Academy of Pediatrics safe sleep recommendations.  All of the images are in the public domain, which means that you are free to use them for your blog posts, teaching presentations, classroom posters, websites and other needs as you like.  There are plans to increase the diversity of families represented in the images in the near future, to include Native Americans and Native Alaskans.

First Candle’s Safe Sleep Image Guidelines is a useful resource if you are a photographer who takes your own images or you are looking to better understand what type of safe sleep image to use in your work with families.  Additionally, if you see images in the media (magazines, websites, commercials, marketing materials, ads, etc.) that are using unsafe sleep images, you can contact First Candle and let them know, so they can contact the appropriate organization and have them replaced with images showing safe sleep environments.

Some of my favorite safe sleep resources include:

Take a moment to review your teaching materials and resources on the topic of safe sleep for new families.  Make sure your images model safe sleep practices. Check out the images in the Safe Sleep Image Repository and use them as you like in your classroom, your practice and as you work with families.  What families learn from you about safe sleep can help to reduce the tragic death of an infant as a result of being placed in an unsafe sleep environment.  How do you talk about safe sleep to your clients and students?  Share your favorite resources and teaching ideas on the topic of safe sleep in the comments section below.  Would you consider using some of the images available in the Safe Sleep Image Repository?  Let us know.

12 Comments

I am concerned about the contr

July 9, 2015 07:00 AM by Deborah D Amis, RN, LCCE, FACCE
I am concerned about the contradictory recommendations in the recommended resources for this blog. I believe that La Leche League's evidence about safe co-bedding is compelling. THE AAP and the First Candle recommendations definitely recommend against any co-bedding. I also agree with British researchers Blair and associates who stated that "Based on evidence from research into SIDS it is questionable whether advice to avoid bed sharing is generalizable and whether such a simplistic approach would do no harm.?? in their SIDS research, they found two infant deaths on sofas in families who had been advised against bringing the baby into bed (but were not warned about the dangers of sofas). Sleepy breastfeeding mothers ma not realize the risk of falling asleep on a sofa during nighttime feedings. Research shows that co-bedding increases the duration of breastfeeding and reduces stress levels in infants. Childbirth educators should provide evidence-based information which includes guidelines for safe co-bedding. I have heard that the AAP may be re-looking at their position; I don't know if it's true, but I hope so!

Debby's comment voices my conc

July 9, 2015 07:00 AM by Jacqueline Levine, LCCE,FACCE,CD, CLC
Debby's comment voices my concern exactly. And then there's the need to discuss warning new parents about an exhausted mother or father "overlying" on a baby, or putting a baby down in unsafe bedding...too soft or voluminous...and the need to define SIDS as the "unexplained" death of a healthy baby, who is ususally alone when struck down. If a baby dies from suffocation under the body of a parent on a couch, that's not an unexplained death. Making parents afraid that they will cause SIDS by co-sleeping is just plain silly. Part of the best-evidence info we can give our classes is a good look at James MacKenna's research on co-sleeping and a good look at what's known about SIDS so parents-to-be can understand the difference between sleeping behaviors over which they have control, and SIDS...something unexpected, unexplained, mysterious.

I have forgotten to say that t

July 9, 2015 07:00 AM by Jacqueline Levine, LCCE,FACCE,CD, CLC
I have forgotten to say that the image of the tightly swaddled baby is one I wish weren't in that pack of photos. There's lots of new info about tight wrapping not being so good for the babe. There are, of course, cultures and societies that keep their babies wrapped up for long periods, but with best-evidence in mind, perhaps we should address tight swaddling with our clients, who get their babies all wrapped up in the hospital. The positions that babies are kept in effects them very profoundly. The studies are out there for us to read and share with our classes and clients.

Hi Sharon: Thanks so much for

July 9, 2015 07:00 AM by Kathy Kendall-Tackett
Hi Sharon: Thanks so much for publishing this. I just wanted to correct one thing. Sweet Sleep was published by La Leche League. The authors are Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Linda Smith, and Teresa Pitman. It's a great resource. My book, co-edited with Wendy Middlemiss, is the Science of Mother-Infant Sleep. Kathy

Kathy - I am so sorry - I knew

July 9, 2015 07:00 AM by Sharon Muza, BS, LCCE, FACCE, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA)
Kathy - I am so sorry - I knew that and it was a copy and paste error that I have corrected! Please accept my apologies. And thanks for all the great work you do!

I attended a workshop at one o

July 9, 2015 07:00 AM by Susan A Lane, MA, LCCE, CPE
I attended a workshop at one of our local hospitals last year with Dr. Nils Bergman. He promotes skin-to-skin contact between mothers and babies and presents the research on various aspects of the mother-baby dyad. One of the interesting things he pointed out is that based on his review of the research, while some babies who are genetically predisposed to biological SIDS may benefit from sleeping on their back, back sleeping is actually a risk for the majority of babies. I may be paraphrasing that incorrectly and welcome challenges, but my overall concern is that the evidence for "back to sleep" is highly biased and inconclusive. What is more important is teaching parents safe sleep - hard surface, no pillow-top mattress, and no comforters. Most of my low-income and high-income doula clients end up sleeping with their babies -bed sharing- in order to just get some sleep in those first couple of months. They need to see the McKenna materials, read the Kendall-Tackett material, and while all those lovely pictures are just fine, they are not the way that moms will get the most and best sleep postpartum. Safe bed-sharing is the biologically sophisticated way for moms and babies to recover from childbirth, but it needs to be practiced safely. All parents, whether or not it is their choice, should be told how to safely share a bed or sleeping environment with a newborn, because research shows that the majority of parents will do just that at some point in the first weeks. I am not a purist - I don't think you MUST share a bed with a newborn to get good rest in the immediate postpartum. But my experience is that most mothers do exactly that, and so I teach all new parents how to safely bedshare and avoid sleeping in any unsafe situation with their babies. I also promote room sharing, but that is useless in the event of true SIDS, and offers nothing to prevent it as bed-sharing in a safe way really does (waking more frequently, etc.). I think this article is incomplete and somewhat misleading as to what is truly safe, and how adequate the evidence is for any of the proposed sleep situations.

The lack of a breastfeeding me

July 9, 2015 07:00 AM by Karen Peters
The lack of a breastfeeding message in the info graphics is frustrating. As the project develops I hope LAMAZE will insist on the message that exclusive breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS. Thx for sharing this new resource. our tax dollars at work!

Hi Sharon: Thanks so much for

July 9, 2015 07:00 AM by Kathy Kendall-Tackett
Hi Sharon: Thanks so much for publishing this. I just wanted to correct one thing. Sweet Sleep was published by La Leche League. The authors are Diane Wiessinger, Diana West, Linda Smith, and Teresa Pitman. It's a great resource. My book, co-edited with Wendy Middlemiss, is the Science of Mother-Infant Sleep. Kathy

Kathy - I am so sorry - I knew

July 9, 2015 07:00 AM by Sharon Muza, BS, LCCE, FACCE, CD(DONA), BDT(DONA)
Kathy - I am so sorry - I knew that and it was a copy and paste error that I have corrected! Please accept my apologies. And thanks for all the great work you do!

There is a lot of misunderstan

July 23, 2015 07:00 AM by Debra R Polk, RN, LCCE,CLC
There is a lot of misunderstandings about SIDS and Co-Sleeping , most incidents are more from suffacation than true SIDs . The statistics are difficult to collect due to HIPPA Laws now, and most new parents are not thinking about what could happen. I've been a Home Visitor for 20 years now and everyone pictures ideal magazine nurseries and loving attentive parents . Instead of struggling young ,financially burdened ,stressed inexperienced moms and dads. Lack of family support,misuse of narcotics & alchohol, separated ,single , unstable relationships, military deployments , PTSD and mulitple mental illness, to still have presense of mind not to make a mistake. Most incidents are accidental, but if a life could be saved, the message is not so difficult to give, of safety first by having them right next to you in the SAFEST place.

Hi all, just wanted to let you

January 3, 2016 07:00 AM by Helen Ball
Hi all, just wanted to let you know that we now have a free image archive available depicting safer bed-sharing / co-sleeping at https://www.isisonline.org.uk/image-archive/. Trying to counteract some of the more hazardous and inappropriate bed-sharing images out there :)

Safe Sleep!

January 8, 2017 03:50 AM by Michelle Henry

Great post. I agree that safe sleep information is something that needs to be reviewed and taught to every parent. Thanks for sharing this great information! 

 

Michelle

www.betterbedsolutions.com

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